Sherry Petitis

First let me say that I will be forever grateful to you, Ms. Finch, for the jewels that I came away from classes with. I am a firm believer that all things work together for the good for them that love the Lord! With that being said, I must share my journey in order to fairly give an accurate report.

 

I came into the system in 2007 and was sent to Coleman camp in 2008, I was sent to Tallahassee on a disciplinary, because I did not want to be strip searched do to the fact they the females from the camp were forced to work in food service at the men's prison USP1 and USP2, so because I spoke out against us being made to go first of all, and secondly the audacity that they would want to strip search us women was a bit to much for me, so my actions caused me to be shipped from the camp, I was released in 2009 from Tallahassee and in 2011, I was sent back to Tallahassee because of a probation volition.

 

Due to the fact that I was back in Prison I was instructed to take some vocational classes to occupy my time, First, I took a writing and poetry class, then I took Ms Finch’s class, Call Center VT. I really wasn't interested in this class at all, it was because of another fellow inmate that I signed up for this class, I remember going to sign up for this class and meeting Ms. Finch. There was something about her karma that kinda caught my attention, maybe in retrospect it was because of a strength I saw or maybe it was because 

she was a Black Woman, and I was Black, maybe it was because of her Braids, her attire that she wore that spoke of the volumes of her character, anyway I took the class, and I am so glad that I did. It was in this Call Center VT Class that I Learn WHO I WAS!Now let me explain we were in this class to learn how to be a good Customer Service Person, but what Ms Finch understood is that how can you be effective in anything if you don't know YOU! Ms. Finch, did what is often done in the Church World, and that is in order to be a good Christian, you have to have a Shepherd or a Leader that can Teach you the Basic Fundamentals of being a good Christian. We call it laying a Foundation For You To Build Upon; likewise that's what I experienced in this class. Many may have not understood her strategy but I DID. When I say I found out who I was, I found out about my Personality and also those around me. She used a book 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, see the foundation, sometimes you have to become a Child again to become that Adult. I don't think or I don't know if Ms. Finch realized the impact of what she was doing in this Call Center VT Class, she was actually helping me, and I believe others who embraced her unique way of teaching, to deal with the whole idea of being in prison and in the midst of over a thousand women on a daily basis. Just knowing who You Are, and Understanding the next person, can go a long way in the Prison System for Men and Women. I was so happy that I had taken this class, because it help me to deal with the compound and the people on it. After the classes are over it's back to your assigned Dorm, classes are over for the weekend and it's you and your reality of being in prison.

 

A whole lot of Extroverts and INTROVERT people in prison and out of Prison, even in my walk today outside of the walls, I still Remember what I was Taught in Ms. Finch’s Call Center VT Class. It is a priceless Tool to be able to UNDERSTAND Others. Some people are out spoken and some people are not, some are LOUD Spirited, some are Quiet Thinkers, but WE ALL HAVE A PLACE IN THE WORLD, this class helped me to Respect the next person, I remember coming to Ms. Finch and telling her that if the Prison system would make what she had been teaching us a part of orientation and made it mandatory for every inmate to get this knowledge there would probably be lesser problems on the compound and maybe even fewer people coming back to Prison.

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