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It Started When He Was Little, So It Was No Surprise Where He Ended Up

This is likethe male version of “Orange Is the New Black,” except the prisoners aren't dreaming about life on the outside; they’re talking about the positive stuff they can do from the inside. All of this was started by a dude who found himself behindbars at the age of 17.

It Started When He Was Little, So It Was No Surprise Where He Ended Up

FACT CHECK TIME:

All of the stats mentioned are true. What really got me is the impactthat imprisoned parents have on their children. These men are not only creating scholarships, but are also organizing supportsystems for fathers to build better relationships with their kids. Here are a few quotes that hit me in the gut:


“Many of us grew up without fathers. Many of us don't know our fathers and probably won't ever know our fathers. So, but I think that just because we went through that, we don’t haveto expose our childrens to that.” (4:24)

“You have a lot of what we call intergenerationalincarceration. We have a lot of fathers, sons, and grandfathers here. It’s real.I mean, on one block, we got — what was it? — five father/sons pair on one block.” (5:05)

“Maybe by helping bring fathers back intotheir children’s lives, they might prevent the eventual incarceration of thosechildren. After all, more than half of our country’s state prison population are parentswith children under 18. And the majority of those parents grew up in single-parent homes or foster care. It becomes a kind of cycle.” (5:28)

We know about the 2.7 million children thathave an incarcerated parent in this country and how they’re seven times more likely or 87% more likely to be incarcerated themselves if nopositive intervention is made in their lives.” (6:13)

“We’ve deliberately passed policies in thelast 30 years that have built up what many folks call a prison nation that havefilled our prisons and jails with criminalized poverty. We’ve criminalized drugaddiction.” (9:40)

“Imagine finishing high school and not readingabout people who look like you doing anything meaningful and significant andhow that shapes your understanding and political worldview, or going to ahigh school where you read and see and understand and are connected to peoplewho look exactly like you that have had complex and transformative roles inmaking important pieces of art or music and politics and law. Control overcurriculum, who gets to decide it, who doesn’t, and why, is a central piece inremaking our school-to-prison pipeline.” (11:04)

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.