April 20, 2020

Getting Ahead Graduation

Friday 2/21/2020 a graduation ceremony and luncheon was held in the Quick Beds Visitation Center at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF). There was a total of 9 graduates. Due to early release only seven were able to be present. Family members were also invited and some were able to attend.

Superintendent Ron King spoke as well as Getting Ahead Facilitators Scarlett Larkin and Amy Blair. Each graduate spoke at the podium. Much to our surprise all eight graduates performed a “praise song” at the end of the speeches. This was an exceptional and very talented group of ladies who worked hard to understand their individual situations and make plans for their release.

CMCF Superintendent Ron King, Facilitators Scarlett Larkin and Amy Blair

Below are two of the seven exceptional speeches that were given:

MARC member Bob Pavolini giving the blessing.

Getting Ahead by Patty Lewellen

I’ve been locked up 5 years in this pen

Doing time for my sin

When they came to me about this class

Well I said, “it sounds real nice”

Little did I know just how far I would go

But now I have a 72 hour plan

So I won’t be back again

The ladies here have been so nice

They taught me things about my life

Not just what I see

But what they have seen in me

I read a story from this book

That makes me take a closer look

Make things right, while you still can

You many not get this chance again!

“My Destiny” by Brittnei Farmer

They say everything happens for a reason

And that nothing happens by chance

Even the trials we go through

And our hardest circumstance

It has all been predestined

To be where we are today

But regardless of what has happened

God is leading the way

One of my favorite scriptures

Is about trusting God with all my heart

Not just when things are good

But also when everything is falling apart

I never expected to end up

Behind these prison walls

But God will get your attention

When you don’t answer His calls

We cannot predict the future

Or see what lies ahead

But we can prepare for the unfortunate

And be proactive instead

This is why I chose classes

To get my life back on track

You must stay busy in here

Because Satan is always on the attack

Getting Ahead While Getting Out

Was the perfect class for me

The topics were very helpful

Especially about budgeting

Other topics addressed in the workbook

Were about situations in the zone

Then it came to my realization

That the books stories had become my own

Mrs. Amy and Mrs. Scarlett were very encouraging

And prepared me for my return in society

But what touched my heart the most

is they saw no stripes, they just saw me

So because of them I feel I still have a chance

To be whatever I want to be

I will take everything this class had to offer

Until the day I am set free

On the tables were pyramid center pieces, little bags of trail mix, and Hershey Kisses.

The pyramid represent a strong structure which can not be pushed down. The words on the pyramid represents the path these ladies have followed to plan their future. The gold crane on top is a symbol of hope and healing during challenging times. The trail mix is for fortification on your trail to success, and the gold kisses are for all the love and hugs we have share

MARC member Nancy Stewart helping out

MARC member Nancy Stewart helping out

Cheese, Veggie and Fruit platters were served along with Fried Chicken, ice tea and cake.

Being a Getting Ahead Facilitator is a very rewarding Ministry and a lot of FUN! We look forward to getting to know and working with many more individuals who seek to assess and plan their future upon release.

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    While the details are still very much in process, most of our activities will continue in the same form. However, some of our operations will be different. Come join us at our next meeting to hear more details and ask questions. Join us on Saturday, February 17, 2024, from 10:00 - 12:00 noon at St. Paul Catholic Church in Flowood, MS.

    A zoom link will be available for those that cannot attend in person.
    Contact: dorothy@marcreentry.org
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    MS Association for Returning Citizens (MARC)

  • September 12, 2022

    Would you like to help men and women have a healthy restart when they are released from prison?
    There are many ways to help ~ large and small ~ that make a huge difference in the lives of those wanting to do better and NOT end up in prison again. Whether you have been involved in this type or ministry, or new to this mission, you are welcome to join us and learn more about MARC!

    Join us tonight at 6:30 pm to learn more about what MARC does, and find out what YOU can do!
    Join us in person at St. Paul Catholic Church in Flowood, or on Zoom!

    Like & Follow us on social media ~ help us grow our service !!!

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  • December 1, 2021

    Our December day of training was postponed due to severe weather. Stay tuned for a new training date to be posted soon. Become a part of the work of MARC! We will be resuming re-entry classes in the prisons this January, and we need more people to help prepare incarcerated men and women to "Get Ahead While Getting Out." Make plans to attend Questions? Call Bob @ 334-717-0890 or Marvin @601-594-8254.