Vah Saechao – How has TLM positively impacted your life?

Vah Saechao is a web developer and graduate of The Last Mile’s joint venture program in San Quentin. He also mentored the youth at TLM facilities in California. Vah is now an Academic Support Representative for TLM and is inspired to continue sharing his knowledge across the organization’s classrooms.

Vah Saechao Tlm Alumni
How did participating in The Last Mile set you apart within the prison system?

When I came to San Quentin, I was hungry for change and education. I completed trades in carpentry and electronic engineering, however, I did not feel indulged in those careers. I began taking as many college classes as I could through the Prison University Project (PUP) and then one day, a member of The Last Mile asked if I wanted to try computer coding. I had no idea what coding was, and he insisted that TLM is the best program in any prison throughout the country. When I began learning the curriculum, I realized that code is what software is made of, including video games. I wrote my first JavaScript program and found the perfect mental escape from prison.

What lessons and tools did you gain from The Last Mile Classroom?

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” Zig Ziglar.

The Last Mile strengthened my mind and increased my growth exponentially, not just in coding, but also in becoming a better human being. The limit does not exist, as mathematicians would say, and there is no limit for the passion that The Last Mile can inspire in incarcerated people by offering the opportunity to learn how to code.

How has TLM positively impacted your life after incarceration?

I did not know that superheroes actually existed until I walked out of those prison walls. TLM healed me from the years of incarceration and a broken justice system through their wide-open and welcoming arms. I can proudly say that I am a member of TLM and privileged to be around so many superheroes. To society, I am reentering as a felon with a long history of violence, but I am also reentering society as a software developer.