A shot at a second chance

Breanna - duluth, Minnesota
Entered on April 2, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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A Second Chance

I believe in the power of second chances. Everyday I go to work or college; I can’t help but count my blessings. I can’t help but be thankful every time I see or talk to my daughter. I can’t help but be thankful that I am free and not in prison. My belief in second chances comes from the most important second chance I received in life.

On February 5, 2008, I walked into the court room with my head held high, hiding the fear and nervousness I felt. I was being charged with aggravated robbery, burglary, assault, and assault with a deadly weapon. My stomach ached. I had a feeling I was going to throw up, but nothing would come up. Driving to the courthouse I prayed I would walk out of the court room and be back at the daycare in time to pick up my daughter. That day in court didn’t go the way I wanted it to, but the outcome became a blessing in disguise. The judge detained me in the juvenile detention center for two and a half months where I waited. I had many evaluations and court dates to determine whether I was going to be tried as a juvenile or an adult. Everyday I sat in my cell I got closer to giving up on myself. I wasn’t allowed to see my daughter; all I had were pictures to remind me of her. I imagined myself on the way to Shakopee women’s prison for the next eight years of my life. The hope I would be put on extended juvenile jurisdiction dimmed every day. As one by one, the people who were with me the day I committed my crime where sent to prison. If my judge decided to certify me I would have been sent over to the adult jail and would have been charged as a legal adult. I was in shock when they gave me a second chance to change my life and sentenced me to extended juvenile jurisdiction. This meant that I was sentenced as a juvenile, but I would still have an adult sentence to serve if I broke the law again. I completed my juvenile sentence at Woodland Hills Residential Treatment Program and the Community Transition Program. My adult sentence is eight years of prison time that I will have to serve consecutively if I fail to cooperate and complete my juvenile sentence. I will be on probation until the age of 21, and if I comply, my adult sentence will be closed on my twenty-first birthday.

It seemed that I was going nowhere other than to prison, but someone saw enough potential in me to give me a chance to change. I am now currently enrolled in Lake Superior College; I’m sober and I am no longer involved in gangs nor do I commit crimes. I strive continuously to succeed so that I will not revert to my old ways. My daughter looks at me with pride and assurance, not confusion. I will never give up, and I will try my hardest to be a good mom and be a good example for not only my daughter but others who also get a second chance.

To the people who didn’t think I could make it, I’m here. For the people who gave me a second chance I’m not only thankful, I’m successful and living my dreams through the opportunity you gave me.