Dawud taught me that even though I had a life sentence to not waste my life and to teach myself tools that will help me to be a better person.
I met Dawud when I was 19 years old, just starting a life sentence. There were no juvenile lifers back then [as a recognized legal category]. Dawud taught me to prepare myself for the future, to educate myself. Dawud was like a father, big brother, and mentor all rolled into one.
Dawud has taught me how to grow into the grown man I am today. Now, at 41 years old, I’m about to see the parole board. I have to give Dawud credit for his time, wisdom, and patience. He had hope for the future when many of us saw no future beyond these walls.
I am many of the seeds he’s planted in people that have crossed paths with him. Now I am a grown man ready to plant those same seeds of wisdom into the community as Dawud did with me. To have Dawud by my side would be one of the greatest blessings.