Greetings and salutations!Â My warmest blessings to the reader of this letter and to the prospective listeners.
I was born a heroin babyâ€¦ didnâ€™t even speak until I was 9 years old. Â I grew up with what we now know as ADHD, and a side order of PTSD based upon abuse in my family; essentially, I had to periodically watch my father beat my mother. This was Horrifying. When I turned 18 years of age, I found myself barely able to read and write, addicted to pot and cocaine, no life trade, and on my way to prison to serve a life term.
I was on my way to whatever the worst could be.
Untilâ€¦ I came across this dinky little room in the education section of Soledad Prison. This little room, Arts in Corrections, became my paradise and liberator. I get emotional thinking about how much that room gave me,
- It opened doors and broke barriers in my mind, essentially from my traumatic childhood
- Gave me the tools to end my addictions via the substitutions of Music & writing.
- changed my life from â€œshallow desiresâ€ , to realizing â€œI can be a great part of this beautiful worldâ€
It taught me how to read and write music, and how to play several instruments. I learned how to teach others, who were in the same state of mind I was, how to find and free themselves through self-expression.
It is my honest opinion that the Arts in Corrections program saved my life.
I served 27 years in prison, and because of the benefits reaped from the Arts in Corrections, I would not trade those years for anything. To this day, I meet people who are free and in worse psychological prisons.
Love and Light to all,Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Rico