Keeping Kids Prison Free
Mark has five grown daughters and seven granddaughters. As a resident of Walker Faith and Character Based Prison, he was invited to speak to a youth tour group sponsored by Prison Prevention Ministries. Telling his story to teenagers was a new experience for him.
“I found out these kids were potentially headed for trouble and PPM was trying to head it off,” Mark says. “It amazed me that a group of people cared about our youth so much that they brought them here. Four of us told our stories, about what got us to this point and how it didn’t start this way but was a gradual process.”
To his surprise they broke the kids into small groups, and he was pleased to be able to speak directly with a group of girls experiencing some typical teenage issues. It felt like he was talking to his own kids. Mark asked them about school, friends, boyfriends and was not surprised to hear about the things that were causing them trouble.
“They all sounded so much like my granddaughter. I explained to them their worth. Not what someone else thought about them, but what they thought about themselves,” Mark says.
His granddaughter had talked with him about peer pressure and boys, and how positive it was for her to have someone talk to. Mark encouraged the girls to find an adult they could trust, and then he spoke to them about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
“Prison Prevention Ministries is showing these kids they are cared for and that we want the best for them,” Mark says. “Hopefully we will say something to keep these kids prison free and they will never see this side of the walls again. It gives us the opportunity to give back.”