By Jamie Tate
There are defining moments in everyone’s life. Mine was the day Danny Peters (Lifer Commuted) and George Trudel (Lifer, Commuted) both Villanova alumni, say me down inside a dreary, dusty old classroom inside of Graterfod’s school building.
I was 29 years old, in the midst of trying to figure out where I was going in Life. Was I going to follow the same old path most men/ young men from my neighborhood walked while being raised by the 60 foot wall that raised so many before me. Or, would I buck the norm, and follow in Danny’s and George’s path?
Sitting in that room looking at these two men, who may never see the streets again, I was forced to evaluate what I wanted for my future.
“You’re not going to be just another kid from Kensington who lets Graterford, its culture, and his past define him.” Because of those words I dedicated myself to Villanova, education and being there for my brothers living, surviving, and succeeding in a maximum security prison.
Along my journey I have also been blessed with befriending Wayne Battle (Lifer) who also aided me with school and introduced me to the Hospice Program.
The three men I have referenced in this essay have made me what I am today: a college graduate (Bachelor’s Degree from Villanova), a senior hospice volunteer (7 yrs) and a respectable honest man who will god willing take the lessons taught by those men back to the streets.
Unquestionably there have been many men who are serving life that have helped make me the man I am today, without these men a lot of lost children would be without father figures and would have been swallowed by that 60 foot monster wall spent too many days staring at contemplating our futures.
Thank you Danny, George, Wayne, and so many more of the men serving LWOP in PA.