Steven Dybvad – Personal Journal – April 30, 2014
While in the county jail, begging my parents to get me a good lawyer, and rescue me from my own self-destruction again, instead they searched and searched for other options, a way to help me help myself and save my own life. That’s when they discovered the Michael Santos Foundation, and the Straight A Guide To Success. This is when my entire life began to change. I was already starting to wake up from a drug induced stupidity, desperate for a change, willing to try anything that could possibly change the outcome of my future. My parents gave me Justin Papernys’ phone number, a representative of the Straight A program, publisher, and close friend to Michael Santos. After talking with Justin, assessing whether or not my desire to change was genuine, he decided to take me on as a client, sending me books and assignments, urging me to create a daily blog to hold myself accountable to, keeping a record of my journey through prison, showing my family and possible future employers documented proof of the changes I made throughout my journey, setting minds at ease and giving myself a fighting chance at a successful future. Since that first conversation with Justin, almost three years ago, I’ve held up my commitment to change, completing every task assigned by Justin, maintaining a personal blog and account of my life in prison, every single day, holding myself to a much higher standard of living, with my future in mind, in every decision I make, big or small. I made a promise not just to my family, but more importantly to myself, to a sober life, free of any addictive substances, and now I have three awesome years of sobriety. I told myself and my family that I would stay far away from getting any tattoos, joining any gangs, or for that matter breaking any rules made by prison and by law and I’ve held up to that promise. Living everyday sober, with my future after release always in mind has strengthened and improved the ethics, morals and values that my parents worked so hard to raise me with. Now I have so many ambitions and aspirations for my future that I find myself having to write them down on paper just to keep track. Living this way every day strengthens my ability to live sober, healthy and goal oriented, thus ensuring the success of my future outside of prison. Prison has saved my life.