There is wayyyy too much security and protocols at Thumb Correctional Facility. At least that was my first thought, until my semi-frustration settled on the fact that I was being checked into a prison. Sure, I’d been to prison’s plenty of times throughout the years, but I never went pass the visiting room. This time I was going behind the wall with zero expectation of how it would look. It was interesting… Kinda like a college campus… kinda gloomy… Really structured.
I was actually visiting the state prison where my younger brother Doug is currently incarcerated. He comes home in 4 months! Back to the story… Doug started a book club for 12 of his peers based upon our best-selling book (I said “our” because my younger brother, Doug Little, and my older brother, T. Stuckey, wrote the introduction to the book. Therefore, we are all best-selling authors.) One of the gentlemen in the book club had a chance to hear me speak as well as read the book. He was so inspired that he wrote an essay for the first time in his life! Check out the impact and understand how important it is to not only speak, but to write your story as well.
Contest winning essay for “How ’bout that for a crack baby” bookclub/workshop
First imma start off with I’ve never wrote a essay in my life, not even in school and I made it all the way to the 12th grade. with that being said I want to introduce myself, my name is Calvin J. Lesears. everybody calls me CJ I’m 27yrs old I was born and raised in the city of flint Michigan. I’m the oldest boy of five siblings two olders sisters and three boys. I’m currently serving a “Temporary”
natural life sentence! (yes I said temporary because this isn’t my end result to my life.) For First Degree Murder, I have been incarcerated for the past 8 plus years…..
“How ’bout that for crack baby”…..
Shawn Blanchard and his story has had one of the biggest impacted moments in my life. The majority of his story has an impact on me in some way shape or form. Myself and Mr. Blanchard have came from the same background ” The common young Black American”
Shawn Blanchard has had the biggest impact and inspiration/motivation on my life. The current life situation I’m going through at this moment I needed his voice! The way he kept focus through all the trials and tribulations he face starting at a very young age, coming from the background he did and still had the vision to step outside the box and make sure he have a better life for his self and people that he came in contact with through his journey of this thing called life.
Shawn has proven to me and I know to many others that has read his life story that any and everything is possible no matter what color race or background you come from you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to and strive to get it by any means.
It’s always a second option or even a second chance and hope in your life no matter what cards you was dealt. I am a man that believe in the mind should be the strongest asset you should have in your progression in life and with his story he has made my mind a little stronger than it was before his story was introduced to my life. He has inspired me to share my life story and write a book in the near future!
Because this not the end of my legacy I have a few more things I would like to accomplish before I deliver on my first book but Shawn wasn’t a writer he now is a best selling author that’s enough said for me! I’m big on facts/truth when I speak I have to live what I’m talking about and show and prove by my actions and accomplishments to impact my peers as a leader while I’m on the inside preparing for my freedom card one day soon!
I might give the next person, man or woman the same thing Shawn has blessed me with today prospective for the rest of my life.
The way he introduced the form of a mentor in the aspects of everyday real life circumstances gave me a different output on mentorship! Mentorship is a much needed thing in this world no matter who you are or how old you are.
The method Shawn used to be a real mentor to the people that came in his life from his little brother Doug to the kids he taught when he was a teacher is dope!
I’m sure to the people he mentored still to this present day is impacted! As time went on Shawn got stronger and better at his techniques and strategies to mentor throughout the book, his ability to adapt to his mentees story and help them out in anyway God let him was humbling, he took time out to show them with truth and facts how he relates to them.
I am very thankful for the opportunities that was presented to me to become apart of this bookclub/workshop and to become mentor to the people that let me with my new skills of how to be a effective mentor from the science of mentorship in Shawn’s book but his young bro Doug, help me learn and fully understand it by breaking down the skills and methods in the workshop! Now I can say Im a mentee to Shawn from a distance so he’s a example mentor for me!
As a “Temporary Lifer” M.D.O.C doesn’t provide us with the opportunities for classes or programs to better ourselves but that’s a whole different conversation and topic. In my 8 plus years this the first class I have had the opportunity to be apart of thanks to Doug going outside the box’s! I am proud to be apart of the first group of guys to help jump start something that’s never been done in M.D.O.C! Just the basic beginning of the Bookclub/workshop taught me something well taught me alot. I say that because It took Doug and Jose a lot of hard work and patients to put this whole thing together. It was in a year plus in making to do what they accomplish with the bookclub.
I remember seeing Doug on the yard and I haven’t seen him in about 5 years and we politic about different things in life and I can tell he grew from the last time we was at Oaks correctional facility. 5years ago, he brought up conversation about his older brother Shawn writing a book. The positive things he was doing out there and the things he has accomplished lately.
Now years later Doug present me with the opportunity to read the book and then he pitched the ideal of trying to start a class or bookclub class for the book after I was done reading it, I was walking with Doug on the yard telling him my reviews on the book that was over a year ago. To be honest I thought it was impossible because of the hurdles he had to jump over to get the class started!
Doug and Jose stayed consisted on getting the class approved for us. Pitching the class to the administration and it was finally granted! Almost everytime I seen Doug he talked about the bookclub with some new ideals.
Doug was determine and he changed my prospective towards ” This can’t be done” outlook to the this really can happen if you stay consisted with what you want to do no matter what. I say all this to end this essay with, Shawn Blanchard as a mentor has accomplished a lot with his 1st mentee Doug.
The life struggles, growth, persistance, patients, ambition and motivation. In Shawn’s life provided Doug with vision and it has showen over the 7 plus years I’ve known Doug and without the mentoring he has done with Doug I don’t think I would’ve had the opportunity to be apart of this or have Shawn as a mentor from a distance for myself. with this bookclub I have developed a stronger mind and received more knowledge to become what I’m here on this earth for as a living King here to protect and provide for the ones that’s in my life, so thank you Doug and Jose and last but not least Shawn Blanchard for the opportunity for me to grow more by way of your journey…….
Life has so many definitions, so it’s up to you to define your own.
Calvin J. Lesears
I was speechless after reading this essay. It displays how important it is to tell our stories and speak life into others. How did this essay make you feel? Imagine a man writing the first essay in his life at 27 years old… I guess it’s never too late to write. I hope CJ continues writing and one day tells his story.
If you are interested in writing about your story, message, or expertie , sign up for my LIVE course “Launch Your Book in 6 Month”. The course is Thursday at 8pm EST. Reserve your seat now!
Tell your story with purpose good people!
Your Virtual Mentor,