Severin Stone/ Class 7: Support Networks

by Severin Stone

174. In what ways do you perceive relationships with people you knew prior to confinement to evolve over the course of your imprisonment?

With many relationships in life you must evaluate whether this relationship will build you up or tear you down. Many of our past relationships were negative and all that will come to the surface through your incarceration. Many relationships that aren’t real will fade out through your sentence and only the real one’s will flourish.

175. In what ways have you nurtured support networks during the time you’ve served thus far?

The way I have nurtured my support system is really through my family that has supported me through this time. I have nurtured them by graduating from college, a goal that I set with them before I started by prison term, I have now completed three Associate degrees and am almost done with my Bachelor degree.

176. In what ways will the support network you have in place now contribute to your success upon release?

The support network I have in place now has the means to offer me a place to live upon release and support through the halfway house time. Through their encouragement and my hard work they will contribute to my success.

177. In what ways would you build a strong support network while you climbed through years of imprisonment?.

I have met many along the way through my imprisonment that I would have liked to have built stronger bonds with. I think the level of incarceration and environment surrounding you greatly affects the resources available. Here at a camp level, there are many successful business men that you can learn a lot from and build plans for the future.

178. In what ways do support networks or the lack of support networks influence prison adjustments?

Without a support network, I think it would be very easy to give up hope and I see many that fall into the web of disbelief. By building a strong support network and having others routing you on to victory outside of prison you become stronger and more willing to emerge successful.

179. To what extent are the values that those in your support network embrace harmonious with the values you profess to embrace?

My family and I embrace many of the same values. Though I have a relationship with God stronger than anyone else in my family and am trying to encourage them all to see and build similar relationships with Jesus Christ. I feel we strengthen each other through my persistence and their love and support we make each other stronger.

180. What steps are you taking now to build or nurture your support network?

With every class I take, with every moment that I push myself, and through challenge I overcome I am taking steps to build my support network. By building my profile on the Straight-A Guide I hope to increase my support network by building a web presence and reaching further.

181. In what ways can those in your support network facilitate your aspirations?

The ways in which those in my support network can help facilitate my aspirations is my supporting me financially, visiting me, communicating with me, and helping me to build opportunities for the future.

182. In what ways is your support network helping you now?

My support network is helping me now by financially assisting my wife and children, encouraging me to strive for greater success, and praying for me. My parents have been an amazing support network and I can not even imagine where I can begin paying them back, but I work hard every day to put myself in the best position possible to emerge successful.

183. What level of allegiance do you pledge to your support network?

100% allegiance I pledge to work hard every day and emerge with the tools to rise successful. I am called by God to be the head of my household and lead my family and I intend to do that in every way.

184. What incremental action steps can you to take to bring people you do not currently know into your life?

By reaching out on the internet to try and make people aware of the accomplishments I am achieving here. Thanks to Michael Santos and his support network for helping open doors for people like myself that our progress can be broadcast to the world.

185. What thoughts do you have about people who would be most influential to your possibilities for success upon release?

I think that people who would be most influential to my possibilities for success upon release would be employers and possible mentors. I really don’t yet know the direction that I want to go for a job but, I know that I will serve God at each and every capacity possible.

186. Who are they?

They are Pastors of churches, people who have worked in the movie industry, and many more. The future is wide open and I hope many will see the value that I can add to their organization. These men and women are influential because they hold the opportunity to give me a chance and see how I will do.

187. What interests do they have?

They have interests in seeing me succeed and growing my opportunities for the future. I live a value based, goal oriented life so all those in my support network and beyond can see my progress to emerge successful.

188. How can you make them aware of your aspirations?

I make them aware of my aspirations by vocalizing them and following through with my goals. Through this Straight-A Guide program I now can post them for the world to see and hold me accountable.

189. What impression would your adjustment through prison thus far make upon them?

I have impressed them greatly not many thought that I would have the success that I have been able to achieve thus far into my prison sentence. I keep reaching farther to increase my success and encourage others around me to make the most of this time.

190. In what ways are you working to cultivate mentors?

In that I have sought out those who have been successful in fields of work that I want to go into. Surprisingly, here I have met many that have been very successful in their fields before their incarceration and have been able to learn very much about business in fields that I have not yet been able to experience.

191. In what ways does your behavior or activities within prison boundaries influence your relationships?

Your behavior in prison and the activities that you involve yourself in in prison and outside define to many people who you are. I always strive to keep up my Christian walk amongst all that see me and encourage those around me to do more.

192. How would you assess the preparations and commitment your closest acquaintances make to a law-abiding, successful life upon release?

Well, seeing as many of my closest acquaintances are all participating in the Straight-A Guide, we are all focused on becoming law-abiding citizens. The more you surround yourself with positive, success driven individuals the more you are driven to succeed in all you do.

193. If you were to receive a disciplinary infraction, in what way would that influence the support network you’re striving to cultivate?

It would damage all that I have worked hard to build. There are instances where standing up for what is right can get you in trouble so it really does depend on the situation and what the infraction is. The circumstances would dictate how it affected me.

194. What relevance does the phrase “It’s not what you know but who you know” have to you?

This is a very relevant phrase both in prison and in the business world. The more people that you now the more opportunities are opened unto you. Many opportunities arise from the people you know not only from what you know or what you’ve learned via schooling.

195. To what extent would your actions show that you’re conscious of the influence others have on your prospects for success upon release?

Every action has a reaction and should be treated that way not only what you do but also how you treat others around you. I feel it is important to be conscious of others around you and prospects for success upon release because everyone is watching you to see how you are going to react.

196. How can a prisoner open more opportunities to broaden his network of support?

By reaching out to the whole world one can build a support network. Programs like the Straight-A Guide are perfectly formed vehicles to reach beyond the walls of confinement and begin building opportunities for support.

197. How would your transition to society change if you had a job offer in place before your release?

I don’t think that it would change very much. I don’t work hard here to get a job, I work hard to show my children that whatever situation you are faced with in life you can make good come out of it. I am a role-model for my children and take that very seriously, they are looking at me to see how will I respond to being imprisoned and in every situation in my life.

198. What steps will you begin taking now to broaden, nurture, and protect your support network each week that you remain in prison?

I will continue to work hard everyday. I will not focus on when I am going to get out but, what can I do today to better myself, my family, my support network, and those around me. I feel responsible to the world to become the best me I can be every day.

199. How will you hold yourself accountable?

I will hold myself accountable by using my time wisely, professing my goals to those around me, and accomplishing every step along the way. I need to be held accountable and not live by excuses…to anyone reading this Please hold me accountable!

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