Steve Nerey – How has TLM positively impacted your life?

When I first entered the prison system, I was sentenced to Life Without The Possibility of Parole (LWOP) with no chance or hope of ever getting out. However, in 2018 Governor Brown of California commuted my sentence to 25 years to life. Since I already had 25 years in the system, this qualified me to go to the Parole Board as soon as possible and also opened the door for me to join The Last Mile (TLM). I went from no hope of getting out, to now having a great opportunity for a career as a computer engineer.

I first heard of TLM in the San Quentin newsletter around 2015. I thought “WOW, what a great opportunity for something great to learn,” never believing I’d ever have the opportunity to learn such a skill. In 2017 I was sent to Pelican Bay State Prison and in 2018 TLM opened up there to teach computer coding. The following year I began TLM. I was so excited to be a part of such a great program.

When I finished Track 1 it felt great. I was shown all that web development takes. I was amazed to know that I could do it as I built my own website for my final project. Moving on to Track 2 was even more challenging as we learned back-end and databases. Finishing my seed project gave me more confidence. I realized I could really make a career out of this. I was learning different computer languages. I couldn’t believe I was learning a skill that was in such high demand at this time.

Steve Nerey 400x311

I love that I can call myself a computer engineer. The door is wide open for me. I have a career path that I didn’t have before. If not for TLM I would be looking for any job that would get me a paycheck and hope it covers rent as I’ve seen other returned citizens struggle in that way. Now I get to do something I love, and feel passionate about and it continues to challenge me. It feels good to have a career in a field that is in high demand.

TLM continued to embrace me like family upon my release. I was given many resources to continue on my path as a computer engineer and am now helping others as an Academic Support Representative with TLM. I am so grateful. I know I am blessed thanks to TLM.