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Hidden Gems: Meet Shawntelle Fisher of The SoulFisher Ministries

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shawntelle Fisher.

Alright, thank you for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us how you got started?
I started making some bad choices at a very young age. I became a mom at 15 and was arrested for the first time. When I was 17, those two events led to me cycling in and out of the criminal justice system for over 20 years of my life. The last time I went to prison in 2006, I decided to come home a different person. That started with me surrendering my life to Christ; my life has never been the same. When I walked out of prison on my birthday, November 3, 2011, I was determined to make a difference in my life. Since then, I have received 7 degrees; I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), a Certified Reciprocal Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CRAADC), and I started a nonprofit, The SoulFisher Ministries (TSM). TSM’s mission is to respond to the needs of youth with incarcerated parents and to promote restorative justice for those currently or formerly incarcerated. We accomplish our mission through the Educate Now to Achieve Later (ENAL) Afterschool Program and the Adult General Academic Program of Education (AGAPE) Reentry Program. ENAL provides free afterschool tutoring and enrichment for students who have an incarcerated parent or are performing 2-3 grade levels below expectations; AGAPE provides reentry programs and services for currently and formerly incarcerated women. Through our programs, we are transforming lives, families, and the community.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It is never a smooth road for anyone from a traditionally marginalized population with a felony conviction; however, I’ve refused to allow these challenges to impede my success and the success of those we are called to serve.

Are there any books, apps, podcasts, or blogs that help you do your best?
I use various resources to help me do my best in life. There is no one-size-fits-all, so I’m never locked into one thing.

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