Dear Kid CAT,
This is a letter of appreciation. My name is Thailee Nguon. I am a juvenile lifer. I anticipate every issue of the San Quentin News. I admire your programs (the piece about the Amala Walk almost brought me to tears!) and wanted to write to you to express my sincere gratitude for inspiring me on many occasions.
The reason I was finally compelled to pick up my pen now was because I just finished reading the story of Mr. Mike Tyler. As I was getting ready to study for my upcoming finals, I opened up the SQ News to see what you guys were up to and, lo and behold, another inspirational story! I couldn’t help but feel as though I was a part of your community as you sent one of your own to fulfill his life’s purpose. I could feel the joy jumping off the page as I was reading.
I hope to meet you all one day because I feel a strong connection to you guys and the values you represent. The community we’re attempting to build here (Pleasant Valley State Prison])is far from reaching its pinnacle but we have a strong network that is willing to see it through until the work is complete. In the meantime, I want to encourage you to continue to provide the light for the rest of us to follow. Thank you.
PS: Does [Kid C.A.T.] have a curriculum? I would like to submit it to the CRM here. Maybe we could create a group that would become an extension of the larger purpose.
Sincerely, your surrogate member,
Dear Mr. Nguon,
Kid C.A.T. appreciates your letter, Mr. Nguon. We work to reflect the positive potential of the larger community of juvenile lifers and youth offenders. We are glad to read that the group has inspired others to positively transform their lives and make the choice to become leaders in their own community. We support your transformation and encourage you and other juvenile lifers and youth offenders to take advantage of the rehabilitative programs available at your institution and to give back by helping your peers in need of the same support. Keep us updated on your challenges and progress.
We leave you with the quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change that you want to see.”