In their own words, the Fellows reflect on the impact the
T.R.U.S.T. Program has had on them.
"The thing I would most like to share is that even though I am in prison and deserve to be so,
I am still a man who feels, who laughs, and who cries. I am acutely aware that my victims don't
have the opportunity to do those very same things because of my actions and the fact that
I took a life. That's why I carry him with me, and in me, every day, everywhere I go, and
everything I do. I keep my victims foremost in my heart and mind, and I work tirelessly to help
the men in here become better, law-abiding people. So, when they do get out of prison,
they truly do change from liabilities to society into assets to their communities.
If I can help keep other families from suffering through the pain and grief that I caused
to my victims, even if it is only one, then all the pain, sweat, and tears are worth it."
"Today I am comfortable with sharing my thoughts and new beliefs with you,
because I have taken a long and difficult journey back to my true self.
I invite anyone to join me to succeed as I continue on the path of my ongoing
recovery and self-exploration. The changes I have made for my future will help
me with my life once I am released, so I can take my rightful place in society."
"For too long, I caused nothing but pain and suffering to many people.
Aware that I am still a work in progress, I strive to do better so I can become better.
I am committed to live the rest of my life honoring all those I have harmed,
and I look forward to making a difference in this world; this time for the good."
"I have already started my lifelong and never ending quest for redemption with an
attitude of gratitude for God's mercy and help in my life.
He has forgiven the evil person I was. Remembering what works and does not
is important. I realize that unless I live my life to make the world a better place,
I'm not truly free. For that chance I am truly grateful. Life is to be lived.
That's what it's about. The End."
What brought you to T.R.U.S.T?
"A desire to join a well-organized program and the community promoted by the men."
"It provided the little push I needed to wake up and embark on my journey."
"Camaraderie between brothers helping to open their eyes to their true self worth."
"I was looking for a way to give back to my community. I wanted to learn to bridge the gap
between those of us in prison and the outside community."
"An opportunity for change."
"At the time I enrolled in T.R.U.S.T., I was in Project LA. I needed to gain some insight
as to why I committed my crime, and a Fellow of T.R.U.S.T. suggested that I try the program."
Why do you stay a Fellow of T.R.U.S.T.?
"My passion is to be a better man than I was when I first came to prison."
"It allows us to view ourselves through a different lens, which fosters
trust, integrity, accountability and change."
"I stay with T.R.U.S.T. because I know there are men here in San Quentin who are lost
and looking for answers. Being in T.R.U.S.T. allows me the opportunity to enable
these men to reach potentials they may never have thought were obtainable."
"The sense of purpose the men of T.R.U.S.T. embody is something I have always longed for,
and it feels good to help where I can."
"The class helped me learn so much about myself, the way I think, and
how these thoughts affect my behavior."
What has T.R.U.S.T meant to you?
"It has given me a positive and proactive outlet for me to atone for my crimes and for me to
give honor and dignity to the memory of my victims and their surviving family members.
It's an extremely difficult road, but I chose to walk the path."
"It has been my source of support and encouragement,
especially after I was denied parole."
"T.R.U.S.T. holds a special place in my heart because its members helped me process
character flaws and distorted personal behavior patterns into pro-social assets."
"I saw becoming a T.R.U.S.T. Fellow as a challenge I needed to take on. I had never been in a
position of leadership, and it was uncharted territory for me."
"Thanks to T.R.U.S.T., my current image of myself is that of a sober, responsible and
conscientious individual who wants to do the right thing in his relationship
with God, his community and himself."
"It means I am now able to give instead of take."
"T.R.U.S.T. for me is an opportunity to purge my negative belief system and
replace my old way of thinking with some new values and beliefs
that will translate into positive behavior."
"T.R.U.S.T. has meant the complete transformation of character that it continues to
reinforce. Giving instead of taking, building as opposed to tearing down
and a sense of accountability and responsibility which all of the men strive to uphold."
"With the right information and resources, change is possible.
T.R.U.S.T. provides just that!"
What is the most important thing you have gained being a part of T.R.U.S.T?
"Self worth and self confidence: I had none of that before coming to the T.R.U.S.T."
"It has taught me to open myself up to my fellow human beings and to be
selfless in my daily journey."
"My daily walk is that which helps, listens, practices patience and shows humility.
I didn’t become a criminal overnight and, so, being a man of integrity and accountability
now is replacing my previously flawed traits. This drives me to be a little better each day."
"I have gained awareness that my broken past is not my resident, and I should not allow it to
take refuge in my existence. I must always love and respect myself, as well as others.
Most importantly, I must be that lighthouse for others who are lost
in the raging waters of circumstance."
"Being reinvented is all about not being afraid to show who you really are. It is gratifying
to witness participants take their first steps in their journey of self-discovery and
self-improvement. The joy I get from seeing signs of hope in their eyes is priceless."
"The most important thing I have gained from being a member of T.R.U.S.T.
is the feeling that I have made a small difference in the world. I have
found that I enjoy helping people, just as much as I like being helped,
to find a better way in life."
"Being a part of T.R.U.S.T. has given me an outlet for all
the guilt and shame I feel for the crime I committed. Also, it is a way to
channel that energy into something positive that helps my community,
even though I am not actually out there yet."