My name is Davion Keel, and I’m currently serving 25 years-to-life. I was 15 at the time of my crime. I’m 29 years old now.
My reason for writing today is to thank you for this avenue where our voices get heard. Coming into the system, I knew nothing. And at 15 years old, I thought I knew it all. I didn’t know anything about being restored and restorative justice.
I always thought I was normal. Only after maturing and really being honest with myself with 100% true love, I tapped back into that human side I’ve always had and admitted that I was lost. Insecure, I had no integrity. I always wanted to be accepted because as a child I never had a father, or mother or anyone to ask me, “What’s wrong, Davion?”
Well, one person asked me, “What’s wrong?” …just so happened it was a gang member. And getting affirmation from him—and others like him—that became my life.
It took me until I was 26 to finally be a man and stand up for the betterment of myself. I started attending self-help groups and found interest in people building people—in the right way, to prosper the world. CGA (Criminal and Gangs Anonymous) was and is a big part of my life. I plan on teaching kids at the same juvenile hall I grew up in.
Which brings me to your curriculum… I’m planning on getting a transfer, just to join. I feel all kids and youth need the tools of KidCAT and CGA. It really helps to develop emotional intelligence in the ghettos where a lot of kids are getting locked up—like my 15-year-old self.
I just wanted to thank you again. Save a spot for me.
Great to read about your transformative growth. The world needs to know about all these stories—each of our stories. KidCAT is rooted in sharing and learning from each other, supporting each other, building each other. We see all that in your letter.
Our hope for 2020 is to get our curriculum out there and available to everyone who wants it. We welcome you, but we also don’t want transferring here to be the only way for guys to go through First Step.
Anyone at SQ is welcome to take First Step on Sundays from 6-8. Each cycle takes six months to complete. If you do get over here, we look forward to your participation. It’s always great to meet our readers face-to-face and really get to know them in person. We can’t wait!