Ok IMPACT : EddyZheng.com

More on: IMPACT

1/11/11

Jan 11, 2011
» Reflections

Since everyone is making a big deal about today’s date being 1/11/11, I figure I will document some of the things that transpired for me.

Today happens to be the day I have to check in with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement.) I have to report to ICE every three months. So at 9 o’clock in the morning, my co-worker drove me to Sansome Street to do my check in. I wanted to do it early so I can be at work on time and I wanted to beat the crowd. However, when I went to the designated window on 5th floor, there’re too many people waiting to get their paperwork sign. so I decided to go back later.

I went back a couple of hours later, it was just routine. The ICE agent sign off on my paper and gave me a new date to go back in 3 months.

It’s Tuesday so I went to CYA Chad to do my workshop with the IMPACT program. We’re doing the Addiction module this series. The lead facilitator and I went to two different units to give an introduction of the module. It’s good to have two groups of captivated audience. A staff sat in our circle. Later he expressed how much he appreciates us for providing this program for the youth.

I enjoyed the ride to and from Chad. I get to talk to my co-facilitator and friend Sterling. We often reminisce how life’s twist and turn got us in the positions we’re in. We stay busy.

Youth Lifer in CYA

Jan 04, 2011
» Reflections

For adults, San Quentin State Prison and Folsom State Prison are considered are notorious prisons. When it comes to youth, N. A. Chaderjian, AKA “Chad,” is one of California’s most notorious youth prisons.

“I don’t really like talking to you like this.” I told “J” who is standing behind a solid metal door with a long piece of glass in the middle. It saddens me to see him locked up in a cell because I was in the same situation many many moons ago.

Today is the first session of the 11 weeks of IMPACT (Incarcerated Men Putting Away Childish Things) program. However, our point person is on vacation so take the opportunity to do meet and greet with youth participants.

“J” who is gang affiliated told me that he’s been locked up in the California Youth Authority Since he’s 14 years old. He’s doing a youth life sentence for attempted murder. That means he’ll be out when he turns 25. At 20, he has 5 more years to go. However, with good behavior he may go home in 3 years. Since he’s in solitary confinement, “J” will have to learn how to get along with other wards who are rival gang members before he can program on the mainline population.

I encourage him to invest in his education and set short and long term goals. When I asked what he wants to do after he get out, he said he couldn’t think that far. He needs to work his way out of solitary confinement first.

I can’t help but wonder what will become of “J” when he leaves Chad after being incarcerated from a teenager to a young man.

2010 Reflections

Jan 02, 2011
» Reflections

Happy beginning of 2011 my dearest family, friends and supporters!

The year of 2010 definitely ended with a bang for me. I received much media attention in my effort to petition for a pardon from Governor Schwarzenegger before he leaves office. Bay Area mainstream KTVU channel 2 news did an interview with me. People’s station KPFA’s Hard Knock Radio, APEX Express, and Letters to Washington had me on their shows. The Chinese World Journal newspaper did two articles on me. KQED online news blogged about my deportation case. Many bloggers and websites across the nation helped spread the word of my online petition. Change.org hosted my online petition. Facebook was extremely useful in reaching out to people to support my cause. We had over 2,500 people signed the online pardon petition. None of it could have been possible without the support from friends and the community.

(more…)