Sphere College Project Live Stream 2: Successful Reentry from Prison

Sphere College Project Live Stream 2: Successful Reentry from Prison


ah Brian says I can hear you and streaming is perfect. Great, so now we can do something… So I’d like to talk a little more about the Sphere program. We’ve basically been prototyping a program for quite some time. I designed it after leaving a position as a professor of computer science, and I saw a lot of people in the world who wanted and needed skills and knowledge, and I thought, well, some people get it if they have money, but what about people who don’t? So why don’t we just share knowledge and information feely?… and guidance… So I founded Sphere on… it was highly influenced by the principles behind Black Mountain College, an educational experiment near Asheville that produced some of the most important artists, well, today… and in recent times. It started in 1933… Do you know about Black Mountain College? —Not, not much— So it started in 1933 and went through 1957 and we’re talking… look up the prices of Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombley… go on and look them up for a while, but you know, they’re commanding millions of dollars, and so I’ve long been influenced by that philosophy and started Sphere up in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania in 2009 and some artists joined, and are still participating Jonathan and Virginia Stewart, and… maybe they’re watching, I don’t know… I’m not seeing anything in the chat. If you are and I’m not, then let me know. So the idea of the the program is three phases, First phase: figure out what you want to do at this point in your life. Second phase: gain the skills. Third phase: do a project that puts the passion into action using the skills developed along the way. The program takes as long as it takes and each person is going to be different. It’s a mentorship-based program just like you enter college and you have an advisor so that’s what we do: match people with a mentor/advisor along the way, who guides them through the three phases. How much does it cost? Free, or… it depends. If you can help us out then naturally we would want help. We expect that the alumni network will be the determining factor as to whether we should continue doing it. We’re starting to see some people make some very significant and important, successful changes in their lives. It hasn’t been easy, but they’ve been doing it. and so for example Jonathan Stewart is working on his Etsy shop and Virginia Stewart is producing artwork that is simply amazing. So go check it out. I’ll put the URL in the description later, but, ah… viewsfromwithin.com viewsfromwithin.com Come check out her artwork. That’s what we’re talking about. Harold is here with me. We met almost a year ago. I think it was more like April— yeah— when we met because another person associated with the Sphere program told us that there’s someone who we should be mentoring, and I said, “Well, have him call us,” because that’s what we need we need, people to reach out to us and say “we need your program”, so Harold did, and we’ve been… well, I know you talked about it last week, but why don’t you take over you tell people again your story. Okay, since the audio wasn’t that good last week. I don’t know about the visual but the audio wasn’t that good. My name is Harold Ervin. I’ve been in prison for 30 years and just got out. As a matter of fact the 14th, yesterday, was my anniversary I’ve been out a year yesterday. You know I’m sorry I’m a little groggy right now but you know, man, it’s been a struggle being out here this year. Don’t seem like it’s been a year. There’s just so much going on out here in this world things move so fast and I’m still kind of in shock, you know? It’s like I just got out yesterday, it seems. And all the problems, things that’s going on in the world, things I have faced and am facing. There’s so much on your plate right now, you know? Dealing with family issues, whatever, personal issues, job issues you just don’t have no… no kind of support system, what you really need. If it wasn’t for y’all, If it wasn’t for you, Richard, man… I don’t know what I would do, seriously, because it’s a whole lot of times that it’s like, I feel like just giving up. Just go on back in there because prison is supposed to be bad… but if you… I come in there as a young man, I was early twenties. I got out when I was over 50-something. So all my life I’ve been in prison… most of it, so to be out here, and these situations and things going on, it’s almost easier to be in prison, you know? —sure— And I see where the system is set up to where, well, I’ve been in there all that time, guys that are repeat offenders, repeat offenders, that’s why. Because it’s really easier you ain’t got to pay no water bill, no light bill, don’t have to worry about buying no food, you know, you don’t have no responsibilities, just in there, you know. It’s hard, man, all the deaths I had to deal with. I dealt with deaths while I was in prison. My momma died when I was in prison. A couple of sisters died while I was in prison. It hurt, but I was away from it. It hurt. It still hurts. but I was away from it. —Did you go to your mother’s funeral?— Yes, they let me go. They took me. But the funerals I done been to since I’ve been free were rougher than that funeral. Because, you don’t have the safety net of the prison. You have to go face family after the funeral, before the funeral, during the funeral. It’s been a hard year, man, I’ve been to six funerals since I’ve been free. Man, there’s so much stuff. I have to tell _you_ something, too… huh, I didn’t tell you this morning. Thought you’d have seen it. I got deer hair and stuff in my light. Hmm. —What?— I hit a deer. Mmmm. I dodged a deer, I hit a deer. Oh, man. —Alright, well… thank you.— Ha ha ha. Well, why don’t we take a break. And I’ll tell you right now I don’t know if anybody heard that. So we’re getting no feedback. I don’t know if we’re on. It says “live”. I mean it says “live”. And this is streaming, this looks like it’s streaming. I just don’t see —comments— right, if there’s anyone I’m surprised that no one would be doing that. So I’m reloading Oh, look… Kelby! Kelby is on there, saying he can hear. Connie says good morning, I can hear you. Great! Okay, —What about everybody else?— I think so. Yes, excellent! Great, okay, great, so now we have some interaction going on. Thank you. That was… that’s great. You’re going to be doing a lot of that. He’s telling people because people know. They heard it. Some other people are watching the… Maybe speak up a little. Okay, yeah. Or maybe you can move… try that. Maybe that’ll work. —Can you hear, can you hear me better now?— I’ve got to watch this. There’s like an echo, 10 or 12 second delay. This is all, this is all learning, look how much better this is than last week. And that’s the point, that’s the point. We just make it better each week. That’s what we’re all about. Ok, so now I want to interact with people as much as possible, so if you have any questions, you know, now is a good time to type them in the live, the live chat which I can see. So, last week we had also Kelby, who is your great —great nephew, my oldest nephews’s son. —And the oldest nephew’s mother was probably, what…? —Oh, my sister.— Your sister’s son’s, son. —Right— Okay. Audrey was with us last week… oh, good… Oh. Connie says “I hear Harold better than Richard”. Ok, that’s fine. Maybe I’ll move it over this way a little bit. And, Harold, Can you explain the parole process? Is it true you have to pay every month? So, well Connie asked “Harold could you explain the parole process? Is it true you have to pay every month?” Yes, I’ve done 30 years in prison. You get out of prison they give you a $45 gate check. That’s what give you. I don’t care… they set that standard back in the sixties or whatever. So a guy could have a… the cost of living was real cheap back then. Forty five dollars was a big check, so they give you a couple of days of pay. Are you sure about that? It’s the same amount since… Same amount since then. —Right, I’m going to check, I’ll do fact checking on everything.— Forty-five dollar gate check and they still give you that forty five dollar gate check. I don’t care how long, if you’ve done a day or thirty years like I did. —Ok— You get out and the first thing they want you to do is go pay the restitution, or your parole fee. My restitution was dead because I had two sentences. I maxed out the first sentence with the restitution on it, so I’m on the second sentence which don’t have no restitution on it. But you’ve got to pay that parole fee. Ok, what’s the purpose of the parole fee? Who knows? well you told me there was something about it. That’s the way they get paid. Okay. The parole officer, that’s how they get their check. I want to be real careful because it this is intended… what we’re going to do is every Saturday this is the plan and it’s getting better each time so I think we can do something serious, talk about successful reentry from the prison system, because… I would call you a success, you know, you are sitting here with me and you can go out and buy pork rinds, —Ooh— anytime you have the money for it, —Haha— and we’ll talk about that. And this video is a part of it. But I also want to be inclusive I want… there’s a system and people work in the system. They know it’s not right, but they don’t know how to change it, so we can talk about that. It’s kind of a catch-22 situation. Yeah. if you don’t pay it they can put you back in prison. —Right— It’s a catch, that’s all it is. —Yeah, …— I mean, really. —Ok— there’s nothing to… it’s like it’s dangling over your head, whatever they want to, they don’t have, you ain’t doing nothing else, you ain’t paid their money that’s another reason they can put you back in prison. —Ok.— That’s all it is. —Alright— And it’s 40, 40 dollars a month, and you can’t pay it all off, you’ve got, bunch of time they want to hang it over your head Yeah And that’s the way they do. And a lot of people done got snatched back to prison for that. —Sure— If you can’t pay your rent pay your light bill, your water bill, if you got kids or whatever, you ain’t got enough money to pay it that month, guess what? they send them back to prison because you haven’t paid that month, that 40 dollars. You say, “oh, my kids had to…” well, they don’t want to hear none of that. I think, I think the federal government, I think they get 33,000 dollars per inmate. 35- or 33 thousand dollars we’ve researched it. Yeah, ok, so, what’s your source? I mean, you know, you cite that, where did you hear that from? A couple of those guys looked it up. Alright, so we need to know where they found it and all that, because that’s what we’re all about. It’s looking for how much it costs to incarcerate an inmate. To incarcerate I had heard that it’s as high as 100,000 per year. Might be. So I don’t know. This is the kind of research we want to do. I know there are experts out there who do this. We’ll have them join in, and by the way… let’s see… It looks like Jonathan and Virginia are watching from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Fantastic! Connie says “What would you like to be trained… I can’t even see the whole screen. Let me see. What would you like to be trained in? What kind of employment would you like to have? And after that Jonathan says Oh, Virginia says “Hi, it’s Virginia we are sharing a computer.” Hi Virginia! It’s so great to have, we are drawing people together you see this? Mmm hmm We’ve got Connie and Jonathan and Virginia and Kelby was on for a bit and Brian was on for a bit and if they can get back on I’m excited, this is great, ok… What would you like to be trained in, what kind of employment would you like to have? My perfect job, it would be a cook, I would love to cook at a nursing home or cook at a hospital, not necessarily a hospital but yeah, a hospital, or a nursing home, somewhere I could personally cook instead of… I don’t want to work in a restaurant, no fast-food. I would rather be at a nursing home or hospital. Perfect job, I love to cook. What obstacles might there be to getting that? My record. Yeah? —Yeah— Anytime you work with people. —Yeah.— It’s hard to get a job working with people, with my record. So, you gotta find yourself a plant. I work 12 hours a day, five days a week. It’s killing me. I’m tired right now. —Yeah— They wanted me to work Saturday, today, —yeah— I said man y’all can take this job. I’m not gonna work. I’m not giving up my Saturdays and Sundays. Y’all got all my days. —And he’s here with us. Thank you. Y’all got all my days, Monday through Friday. I come here and it’s dark and I leave here in the dark. It’s like I’m in prison. So no, I’m not giving up my Saturdays and Sundays. He said “Ok, ok” I gotta find me a cook position. Or open up my own restaurant. I’ve got a culinary arts degree. So, that’s the training. I want to relate that to Sphere. Although we have these three phases and they can take as long as they take, so if someone comes in saying “This is what I want to do,” then we will help you figure out how to do that. It’s been… you know, we’re only, I feel like we’re only now we’re getting to the point where we we can even really talk about the reality because there’s a lot of learning that has had to happen. Can you talk about the kind of learning that you have done… While I was in prison? No, since then. Oh. Oh, man. It’s a whole lot of stuff I went through that I didn’t realize I was going through far as dealing with disappointment, hurt. I didn’t realize that… you know, when you’re sitting back in there in that cage… take another day to get out like yesterday February 14… I got out yesterday a year ago, man, that day was so long And you have all these visions in your mind, what you want to do what’s going on. The reality is, ain’t none of that happened. So it’s learning to deal with life on life’s terms dealing with it one at a time. But you need a springboard, man, you need, I need Richard, And, to keep my sanity. There’s a few times I just wanted to go back to the prison gates and say man, let me back in here. That’s a very powerful statement. I mean, I just, I just, you know you try to, try to live one day at a time. That’s all I could do. Quit thinking about what I’m going to do tomorrow with You taught me this, to keep it simple. One day at a time, let’s get through this day. Let tomorrow worry about itself. Because it’s strenuous, man, it is strenuous. Yeah… yeah. You do have to get through the day. I mean, how do you do it on those 12 hour shifts? Running that machine, running up and down those steps. They taught me how to do… the Taiwan people… Be careful… haha, ok… when they work, they work. —Yeah— And I’m not 20 no more. And I’m realizing I’m not 20 no more. So I can’t do the job I used to could do. And my body… there’s stuff hurt on me now I didn’t realize I had. When I got over 50, whoa… —Yeah, yeah— So, it’s kind of rough. Yeah, those are your days. And you’d rather be cooking. Yeah, at this age. point in my life, I should be thinking about retiring, putting my last days in instead of starting a job. Yeah, you know, there are a lot of people… that’s something to learn about, there are a lot of people in our age group that, who are in a similar situation. And I think we’ve got to figure this out. Yeah We’re not taking care of our own. You know, I looked up Oh, let’s see, oh, there are some comments. I’ll get back to those in a second. I see Jonathan says that this is very interesting. Yeah, great. Yeah, it is. And Connie says “My roommate cooks at a senior home And he really loves working there.” Yes The people are great, and he says it’s fun to create food for Right! That’s what I’m saying. I think that’s a wonderful option. Ah, man, I would love that. Alright, well. Anybody wants to help us out by making some calls around, Checking with … you know, we, we’re busy, you know, we’re doing this. If I didn’t have to work, I would cook for free. Hahahaha I just like to cook for compliments. You know, I’m a real cook. wouldn’t have to pay me. If I had my own money I would cook for free. There’s got to be a place out there that we just don’t know of we just don’t have good mechanisms for putting people together And it’s hard for you to go look for a job when you’re working 5 hours… 5 days a week, 12 hours a day. What do you do when you come home? BAM… —BAM— Fall out, get ready for the next one. I mean, that’s all week, and then Saturday and Sunday are you going to be looking for jobs? Yeah, but he’s working, you know. I worked my way up. On my other job I worked my way up to supervisor. Yeah, and then what happened? Then they terminated me. They let everybody go. Yeah, yeah… on what day? I forget what day it was. It was on, on a Monday. It was on Martin Luther King… Oh, yeah, right, it was on Martin Luther King holiday. Yeah, they laid everybody off on Martin… oh, man. That was something, man, it was… it was special. Hahaha It was Martin Luther King Day. So anyway… Yeah, we gotta get Harold a new position that’s right for him and everybody. So any thoughts you have, let’s keep this conversation going. It’s just, it’s hard. We’re trying to use whatever resources are available in what small amount of time we have. Ok… let’s see what else we got… Connie says “I feel that the first year of any transition is the hardest… hang in there, Harold. Richard is there for you and I’m praying for you.” Thank you Connie. There are people out there. Virginia says “Virginia here, how are you making out… how are you making out at this time? I’m making out one day at a time I’m just… I’m gonna make it I’m gonna be alright. I’m used to living, I’m used to living for 70 cent a day, so… Oh, yeah… tell them a little more about that. What? —The 70 cents a day— Oh, that’s how much you work for. You work… I worked for the town of Spindale when I was in prison and we done garbage pickups and round up, cutting trees down, whatever 70 cent a day I done put my labor, my back to work for the state for 30 years 70 cent a day Now I’m on the retirement end of my sentence And I can’t do what I used to do no more. I done all that for 70 cent a day So they want me to come out there in this… I can’t get a job where… that ain’t physical. Mmm hmm, right. Because you’re… convicted. Now, I’m sure everybody’s going to be wondering, “What about that?” We don’t have to go into that right now. I actually want to make that one of those things that… we’ll save that —ok— we’ll get into that. You know, that’s what people are gonna be, they’re going to want to hear about it. There’s another comment from Kelby, he’s on —Mmm hmm— with us… thanks, Kelby. Read David’s letter. Oh, I forgot David’s letter. Oh, ok. I forgot David’s letter, sure did. Well, that’s another thing we can save for a future live stream. Yeah. My nephew David, he got into a conflict Man, I love my nephew David, I love Kelby, I love all my nieces and nephews, I really do. My mama… I’m the baby of nine kids My mama had me when she was 45, my daddy was 50. and all my sisters and brothers had kids, you know, my age and older. So all my great-nieces and nephews is like my nieces and nephews. So anyway, David got into a conflict with a… him and this friend of his and this friend of his killed a guy and he didn’t tell on him so they gave him life without parole and he was a teenager. He wasn’t nothing but a teen. Now they changed the law that they can’t give teenagers life without parole. He’s a teenager his brain ain’t fully developed, they figure this out, now, so they’re supposed to be redoing his sentence and letting him out. He wrote me a letter, man, it touched my heart. Man, man, man it put a tear in my eye. He said he was tearing up when he wrote it. And I was tearing up when I read it. I can’t wait to let you read it. That letter, I want you to read it. Man, he doing all that time for nothing. I’ve done something, but I didn’t do, he didn’t do nothing. Well, that’s… future… future discussion. Yeah, we gonna, I’ll bring you the letter. We’re still in setup phase. It’s going well, real well. I’m so glad people are joining in and participating. What I wanted to do… we can’t really set it up that well but we can do that later, is to just brainstorm on all the topics that we want to talk about here. Anybody can… we’ll leave it up and this is live and you know, ha, this is real, at least on video, you know. We’re not editing… much. Yeah, ha ha. You’ve edited the other one? I tried, all I could do was cut off the early setup part. I tried doing it using some software and then at some point it just crapped out. Maybe in the future I’ll get a better version up there of the first session. Yeah we got more, let see, Jonathan says… oh, Virginia says “Do employers some seem reluctant to hire you knowing you’re out of prison.” Yes… yes, I’ve been in four jobs since I’ve been out of prison. Well, that is, at least, 4 people who are willing to hire you. Yeah, well see the thing is, the thing is you’ve got to let them be aware, —right— that it’s a tax write-off to hire a felon. They get a benefit for hiring a felon. We should look into the details and post that in the comments or something. Hiring a person that’s been incarcerated, taking the risk of hiring them, it’s a tax write-off. See I got a sheet of paper that I take with my resumes that I take to find a job, I have that information where it was located and I hand that in with my resume, a copy of it, and the next thing I know they calling me for a job. But the only jobs I couldn’t get are the ones I really wanted, that’s like, like a nursing home, or hospital or something that’s, like, cooking —yeah— yeah around people in with me, people that’s in care situations Yeah. Alright, well, we’ll keep working on that. So what I had hoped for this live stream… I’m going to see how many people are on. Five, ok. Five are on now. Great. And there will be many more viewing later, because the sound and audio are so much better than last time. People probably went on last time and said, “eh, can’t hear a thing” So, this is the second in a series and what I hoped and planned to do today is to have some conversation so people can see where we’re going in this, and also brainstorm on what all the things are that we could we could talk about in the future like I mean I’m just brainstorming a little bit relationships, insurance, you know, talking to people, getting jobs, all of this is a component, handling money, all of that paying bills, all of that. And maybe we can come up with some creative solutions. But those are some of the topics and we can expand on all the topics. And today, a topic that I had hoped to go into, we said last week we were going to go into we don’t have to do this but, you know, maybe it would be better to wait until Kelby can join us again is the topic of trust. And, because to me, my own philosophy is that it is probably the most important topic that people can discuss. And so trust and being trustworthy. I’ll just start the conversation a little bit and say that my observation is that we are too simplistic about it. We talk about whether a person can be trusted or not and if they did something, you know, that’s not trustworthy then we reject them entirely and I think that’s too simplistic. I think some people can be trusted for some things and not for others, and we have to know what those are and just say, ok, we’re human, you know, we have these things But then, what I want to go into, and maybe we can just wait, with Kelby, I think it would be much better to have more than just us talking about that. It doesn’t have to be next time. It can be whenever our viewers would like. to have us discuss it. We want this to be a lot of interaction. So, I feel like I’m talking too much and I should let you talk. Is there anything that you’d like to talk about? On the trust issue There’s no… let me see, what’s that saying that says “No honor among thieves.” That’s a trust issue. But in a way in a sense it is, though, because if you tell somebody something in prison that you’re gonna do or you say you’re gonna do, if you don’t do it, there are consequences… —mmm— dire. And you say you borrow something from somebody, well, whatever the situation you say you’re gonna do this on certain day, if you don’t do it, and you live that life for a long time it is, it kind of embeds in you, scares you. Which it ain’t no bad thing to be like. I mean, you know, you try keep your word. I mean as far as keeping your word. Yeah, you try to keep you word in every situation try to keep your word, but don’t give it lightly. You say you’re gonna do something, you say “I don’t know” before you say “Yes, I’ll do it”, So… trustworthy, is.. it ain’t no trust, there… It’s a lot of lacking in trust since I’ve been out, since I’ve been free, man… and I got so many disappointments and heartaches, things, trusting people, “Oh we’re gonna do this”, “we gonna get this for you”, “we’re gonna help you do this…” Ain’t nobody done nothing. “Tomorrow, we gonna… da da,” “I’ll be there in a couple of hours,” or “I’m gonna buy you this,” “I’m gonna get you that” “I’m gonna help you out” Trust… hmm, there’s no honor out here. There’s more honor among thieves than there is honor among the un-thieves. Wow. Wow. I’m gonna have to think about that for a while. Ha, seriously. Yeah, huh. You know, we’re bringing Harold here because he’s bringing an important perspective. This is your perspective. And I trust that you’re conveying what’s real for you. There might be some more questions. Oh, look! We’ve got Phillip on here. Hey, Phillip, thanks for joining us and by the way anybody who wants to take that URL and send it out to people and saying “It’s live now” I’m not sure how long we’ve been on, but we’ll stay on as long as, you know, Harold stays awake and —Haha— people are still here. So we got… Phillip says “Life is a challenge no matter where you are keep that in mind and keep putting one foot in front of the other and trod on.” Amen! Hahaha I love you Philip Jonathan says “Does he have any creative talents that could be put to use without physical stress?” Creative talents, like art, artistry or something? Singing? No, my voice is gone. I don’t play an instrument. Not yet, haha. And, good question. —Yeah.— Yeah. I mean there’s artistry in cooking, you know that. Well let’s just say that. Yeah, it is art, sure. Have you seen the chef shows? Mmm hmm. I can’t stand them. Me neither, ha. And Connie says… “There are good people out there, Harold. You’ve got to find them and make them part of your life Sphere College —Project— Project. In all of, these… everybody I’ve met so far… it’s been on point. They say they do something, they do it. They don’t never sugar coat something and tell you they can or they can’t and they got your back always. You know I done moved a niece, I done moved a daughter, I done moved three people. They didn’t have to help. They did. They helped me get set up at my place, helped me get jobs, helped me get an automobile. Man, they didn’t have to do that, so I’m surrounding myself with from when I first got out to now I surrounded myself with people that’s been backing me up, pulling me up. I want to thank you. You’re welcome, and I thank you for doing your part. So why am I… it’s hard for me to step outside this comfort zone, ask anybody else for anything, anybody to help I’ve done been hurt, disappointed so many times. and I don’t want to say what section of people that is, but I was hurt by them. Not supposed to say that, so. Hmm, we can get into some of the real stuff, but we can save it, too, you know. Maybe it will come out of questions that people are asking. Look! There’s more interaction… Do you have anything more to say now? No, go ahead. Connie: “Cooking is a talent.” —yes— Virginia oh, she posted to Facebook. She put the, she put the URL for the live stream on Facebook. That’s great. Thank you. That’s what we’re after, you know. Help us build, the audience, bring people in. Ask questions in the live chat This is working. It’s working. You know? People are going to be able to see this and be fascinated by these stories. Skip through, you gotta go back into parts where Harold is talking. And we got some more, Connie… “Last week you mentioned wanting to mentor people who are coming out of prison. I think that is something admirable and something that can help keep you motivated. —Exactly— I’m sure Richard and… it stops there, I don’t know why —She’s still typing?— okay Oh, I know, I think for people who type a lot in the live chat, if they type a lot they, you know, rate it down, I think, I’m not sure. We’re learning all this, so yeah, mentoring people… —mm-hmm, yeah, I gotta get me another somebody —oh, okay— It helps me Helping somebody helps me. Yeah, yeah man. If we all thought that way… I’m sure Richard would be happy to have your help. I mean we are consciously… we’ve talked about this about how becoming a mentor… perfect, I mean, you’d be perfect. So… I know exactly, I done been… whew, like I just had another wreck last night. I done been through the wringer. For guys coming out of prison, wanting to… having a fantasy about what’s happening out here in this world, hold up, hold up little man, little brother, let me talk to you, this is what’s really going on take your time, put your money up, don’t be doing this, doing that, messing with this person, that person, keep your focus this can happen, this can happen, it happened to me. I believe I’m, like you was telling me before I’m going through all these pitfalls to help somebody else, to dodge them. I done been through the wringer. Thirty years of prison and get out here and get thirty years crammed into your problems in a year. I keep telling Harold he’s being a hero. You know one thing I still haven’t done yet I want to do. Go to my momma’s grave. —Okay, thank you— That’s what I want to do. —Yeah— We’ll do that. I want to just talk to my momma. I haven’t done it yet. That’s one thing I’ve pledged I wanted to do. It’s hard to… I appreciate it. —Yeah— Looks like there’s more typing. Let’s go see what’s going on over here. Looks like there’s, let’s see… Virginia: “Harold you would be an excellent mentor because of what you went through.” That comment was from Virginia. And Connie says “Harold, you are so good at expressing yourself and I know you will make a difference in other’s lives.” Do you know that you’re good at expressing yourself? Ok, well, you’re getting feedback. Thank you, Connie. So, we want to keep doing what we’re doing. It takes a lot of things, but one thing that it definitely takes is money and support when people have the money to provide the support that we need to continue and grow this program. Sphere College Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in the state of North Carolina and that means that donations made to us can be deducted from your taxes. Speak to your accountant and ask your accountant “What’s a reasonable amount of money for me to donate to a nonprofit organization that’s doing good work?” and have that conversation so that you can be informed by someone who’s an expert in this area. let’s see… there’s some more typing… So, I’ll get back to that there are a couple of ways that donations can come in, and I’ll post them in the description and or comments. One way is by a direct donation from PayPal. And my experience was with PayPal always in the past was just for one single payment, but but now I’m learning that they’re able to take a monthly amount. And the reason I know that is because as a result of our last live stream, we got a donation of $100 a month to come in from one person. We’re going to make that anonymous, unless people explicitly tell me you can share that I’ve made a donation. But this means that the whole pipeline is is working. You know, we got the live stream up, we have interaction and people are thinking this is important enough to contribute their own funds. We can reach whomever people want to reach now. To bring money into this program to help people like you. The program is not only designed for prison reentry. it’s really intended just for individuals who want to make a move in their lives. Harold is just highly motivated Mmm hmm… So he reached out to us. Ok, let’s see what else is… Oh, one other thing, PayPal and we also have a Patreon account set up that is… I mean I just set it up, I haven’t been advertising anywhere yet. I’ll put the information in the description. Let’s see what else we’ve got here… Virginia says “Have you thought of writing a book?” Yep, I’ve had a few offers of writing a book and I’ve been doing they call them memoirs or whatever, history. Been recording so I’ve had a few offers, people offered me, wanting me to write a book, I’m kind of leery about accepting money for book. I don’t know these people because, you know, you’re putting your life out there, you know, so I haven’t really got in a contract with nobody or talk to nobody I’ve had a few offers, but I’m going to let Richard and Brian talk to somebody. Next offer that come to me they’re gonna have to go through Brian and Richard. I mean, honestly —I don’t know nobody else— Honestly, what I think we need to do is set up a Patreon account. These things, Harold, that doesn’t mean anything to you, right? —What?— Patreon account? I don’t even know what you’re talking about. It’s just an online site, where people can donate for specific projects We’ve got one for Sphere College Project in general, but what we need to do, I think that would be very compelling, would be to create a project on Harold writing a book and then people can donate to that. It’s important for people to understand what, one of the, Brian, who Harold just referred to, is a publisher he knows the publishing industry extremely well and knows how to package you know and also knows that a lot of the stories that come from when people get a windfall of a lot of money but haven’t the experience for how to spend it that you know, ended up where they were before —or worse— in a short, yeah, so, we would want to do this in the right way and I think we are because you’re learning about the wor…, I mean, the more that you have to learn to, to… in order to say but we got to get you off this 12 hours, 5 days, as soon as possible, and I think by setting up a patreon account people will help us advertise it so you don’t have to do that any more. And you can write the book. And I went down to $10 an hour. I was making $14. That is, just, I mean… Right, so we’re doing you said that’s wonderful. So what we’re doing by you doing the recordings, that’s great to capture all of that. We can hire someone to transcribe it —Oh, you can?— if they want to donate to the Patreon. —Transcribe, that means— Like, they listen to your recording, write it up. Like a, ok. —Yeah— Like the woman in court do. —Right— Then you can edit it, you know, —Mmm hmm— you can go back and forth with them, And then Brian can work on the packaging. I mean, this, this is the kind of thing that could completely support Sphere and you and, you know, your family members that you want to help in the future, so, you know, I’m very excited. Let’s see, how’s our time? Oh, look! It’s noon-oh-one. I think you’re done. —I think I’m done.— I very much appreciate Harold being here. This is… this can work. I’m delighted so, thank you for being here, thanks for interacting in the comments and next Saturday, 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time, I hope to get a wider audience. Thank you. Now, let me figure out how to stop this gracefully. It’s gonna take a minute… I think I…

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