Angelo Hunt, Student
I have often heard people ask: “What would you be willing to die for?” The same answer has always entered my mind: I would die to save someone I love. However, a better question might be: “What would you be willing to live for?” Unfortunately no one has ever asked me that, but if asked, I would say an education is what I live for.
When I was told I would not be able to complete my college education due to the closing of the medium annex of Sing Sing, I felt crushed. I packed what few belongings I had and “moved” to Fishkill Correctional Facility. It was a surprise to none when I began doing emotional cartwheels when — after a month — I was asked if I wanted to return to Sing Sing to complete my degree. Some acquaintances thought I was crazy for volunteering to go from a medium facility back to a maximum one. Those people believed I was sacrificing a certain freedom that comes from being in a medium: showers, unescorted movement through the facility, a “better” commissary, etc.
Those men had it all wrong. None of those “perks” meant anything to me. They could not help me to become a better person, nor could they help me to get home to my children any sooner. To stay at Fishkill would have been the sacrifice. I would have given up my education, and I could not see myself making that kind of sacrifice. Education is my avenue to self-empowerment; education is also the only thing in prison that gives me gratification, enjoyment. Now no one has to ask me what I live for. They don’t have to because the answer is evident in my actions.