Tommy Winfrey – What does it feel like after The Last Mile Demo Day?

Coming to prison at a young age, I haven’t had the privilege to father children. Fatherhood has been a missing component of my life, and something that I wish I could experience. I finally experienced on March 14, 2014 what fatherhood must feel like. I watched ten men that I have mentored over the past six months grow up before my very eyes. I could not have been prouder that day.

I watched theses men work incredibly hard to develop business concepts into spotless pitches. These men breathed, ate, and lived their ideas. I had professionals come up to me after they pitched their ideas and say “wow, people outside these walls can’t pitch as good as these guys.” The guys who pitched that day were not the men who walked into the room for their first session of TLM six months ago.

I personally witnessed transformations that were nothing short of a miracle. The very guy that wouldn’t speak up six months ago stood in a room with at least 300 people and gave a flawless pitch. I saw a guy that knew nothing about tech six months ago describe how his business was going to use the latest technology to end violence. These men mixed their personal stores and passions with business principles that will help them succeed in the world today.

Tommy Winfret Tlm Alumni

I experienced parenthood that day as a surrogate and I get it now. I understand that I can be prouder of someone else’s accomplishments, more than I can be proud of mine. It didn’t just stop there that day either. I was reminded of the accomplishments by brothers that gained their freedom have made. I witnessed two of my brothers return to support us. I was reminded of their success and the future looks bright for them.

This was the proudest day of my life, by far. If I don’t ever get the find out what fatherhood feels lie, at least I know what brotherhood feels like. To all my brothers in TLM, no matter where you are, I hold you in my heart this day and everyday of my life.

All communications between inmates and external channels are facilitated by approved volunteers since inmates do not have access to the internet. This program with Quora is part of The Last Mile San Quentin. Twitter:  @TLM