Ivey Van Voast
My name is Ivey Van Voast, and I entered the federal prison system in 2007. I had a good life before prison, but I lacked some fundamental communication and coping skills.
I met Ms. Finch in 2010 when I signed up for her Call Center class. At first I thought this class was just going to teach me about working in a call center, but I quickly learned that this class was much more.
In Ms. Finch's, class communication skills were very important. We learned how we communicate to others and how they communicate to us. This was so important to me because I am a teacher and sometimes I just couldn't get why people did the things that they did, or why they couldn't understand the material that I felt was so
simple to get. I learned that everyone is unique in the way that they present themselves to the world. Having these skills make me seem more sympathetic to others disabilities and uniqueness. What I learned in Ms. Finch's class makes me a better teacher and a better communicator with the world.
Also while incarcerated, I took Ms. Finch's parenting class. This is the class that taught me the most. This class taught me to be a better mother to my two children. In this class I learned about understanding your children and their needs, wants, and desires. I learned how to cope with stress and how to discipline my children. I also learned how to reunite myself with my family and how to regain the trust of my family and friends. I also learned about different cultures and how important it is to understand other peoples point of views. Before the class I was more of a "its my way or the highway" kind of mom and person. Now I listen to my children's points of views and the views of other people. I try not to jump to conclusions, or say no before I have heard the argument. I can honestly say I am a better mom because of this class.
Since my release, I have reunited with my family and become gainfully employed. I carry with me all the important things that Ms. Finch taught me as well as the lessons she let me learn on my own. Without her positive influence I may have not made it as far as I have. She is someone that I will hold dear in my soul for the rest of my life. I hope to be able to pass some of the skills learned from her to others.
Thank you very much Ms. Finch, you will always be one of the great influences in my life.