We’re grateful for her courage to share her story.
Her life has been one transition after another. At the age of 17 , Kendra was jumped by 5 girls with broken bottles. She defended herself by pulling out a razor from the bag of her hairstyling equipment. In the ensuing fight, one of the girls was cut. She was sentenced to five years in prison. She has remained a productive citizen ever since, starting two businesses and holding jobs for multiple years.
Listen carefully to her childhood. Like so many other women who are incarcerated, she experienced abuses.
Although Kendra has been released for over 25 year, her past incarceration continues to create challenges. While getting to the final leg of an interview process for a management job, a background check revealed her criminal background. It devastated her.
She reached out to us for the support that she needed to stay focused and on track and we responded. We are stronger together than alone.
It’s difficult for women to deal with these challenges alone. Family responsibilities leave little time and energy to think clearly when the barriers are presented. Creating a supportive environment where women can reach out at any time for help makes all the difference.
Watch as an attorney from Baltimore Resilience, Blake, met with Kendra to help her deal with the past incarceration that had shown up on a background check on the final leg of her interview/application process. Rather than taking control of the situation, Blake empowers her by listening carefully to her – relieving stress and helping her find confidence again in who she really is today. Listening lets people understand they are important.
Blake helped Kendra work through her accomplishments and identify the positive traits that she had to bring to the job she sought – again, by listening closely to her. Just bringing up her past – a distant past – had destroyed her feelings of self-worth. Having someone validate who she was kept her focused amid many distractions, and gave her back her dignity and hope.
After crafting her response to the question of her incarceration, Kendra waited.
This video says it all. Although Kendra is a very strong woman – a survivor – the past and the barriers it presented had immobilized her. With a little emotional support and some help with the task, she was able to confidently put into words who she is now and what she has to offer her future employer. The support given her was invaluable, but it only served to help her stay focused and recognize her own strengths.