Jermaine Wilson overcame crime, addiction and maximum-security incarceration at Lansing Correctional Facility to become mayor of Leavenworth, his hometown. On Thursday, April 18, Wilson spoke to 75 inmates graduating from educational programs at Hutchinson Correctional Facility with a message of hope and encouragement.
Graduates were recognized for completing various programs, including GED, Kansas Work Ready, NCCER Core Curriculum (construction basics), plumbing, and carpentry. HCF is one of six state correctional facilities in which Greenbush operates educational programs that aim to help offenders find post-release success.
Wilson’s appearance was arranged by Michelle Murray, Title I instructor for Greenbush.
“I had an afternoon student who said, ‘Mrs. Murray, do you think I could ever be mayor of Wichita?’” Murray said. “Later that week I saw national news about this former inmate becoming mayor of Leavenworth. I found an article and printed it off for him and said, ‘See? It is doable.’”
One special guest in attendance was former Greenbush Title I instructor Joy Kirk, who attended to see one of her former students graduate.
Watch Wilson's speech at the following link:
For more about Jermaine Wilson, see this recent story from CBS Evening News:
Joy Kirk, former Title I teacher for Greenbush, speaks with a former student who graduated on April 18.
Below: Greenbush KDOC staff members at HCF pose with Jermaine Wilson. From left, Duane Banning, Michelle Murray, Jermaine Wilson, Chandra Lambert, Jay Hertel, and Keith Goetz