Graduate Spotlight: Chadesha Jones

How did you hear about TPOM and what interested you in the program?

I first heard about TPOM through a seminar that Cynthia and Reisha came to at BCCX. I had to apply for the seminar and be selected. Reisha and Cynthia did a great job on their presentation about the benefits and programs that TPOM offers. 

How has your work experience been?

Really good. I thought it might be hard to find a decent job because of my charges. Right now I work in production at Bark Bistro, and what I love about my job is that everyone has a past. It feels good to work with people who don’t judge. 

How has TPOM helped you?

It has helped me build a lot of independence and push harder towards complete independence. It has taught me how to live life on life’s terms. It has helped me gain responsibility and self-respect. I’m glad I have to pay rent and have that responsibility.  I have learned how to budget, and I have worked on one to see how much I can pay for rent and utilities and how much I need to put away in savings. I also learned how to ride a bus. I am proud of myself, and I haven’t said that in a long time.

What do people need to understand about incarceration?

It was a time for me to reflect on my past and past behaviors. It was a time to work on my relationship with God and fix other relationships. It was a time of change. It helped me to sit down and think about all I’ve done and the damage I have caused to myself and others. 

What do people need to understand about life after prison?

You need to be patient with yourself. It’s a process. It’s quick to get in trouble but takes time to build back. Take the time and redirect the behaviors. You have to change your mindset. Tell yourself you’re not going to do it and don’t do it. Or tell yourself to get up and get going. Do not give up. Know that you can do it and give yourself the benefit of the doubt. It feels good to do things sober and do things on my own. I chose this program because if I went home, I wouldn’t have tried as hard because my mom would have taken care of me. I depend on God and myself, and that’s better than any high I have experienced. 

What role has faith played in your life?

If I didn’t get close to God and keep faith, I wouldn’t have made it. Only God’s grace and mercy got me through. You can’t have faith in the world because the world will always let you down. Trust in God. It won’t come in your time but His. Once I started reading the Bible and getting closer to God, it helped my mental health, substance use, everything. 

What goals do you have for the future?

To get my own place and a car. To be happy and know that I did everything with my own two hands. To know that I made my own way. 

What has been the hardest part of reentry?

The hardest parts have been the job search and housing. It’s hard to find nicer places to live.

What has been the best part of reentry?

Freedom. Being able to eat what I want and see family without supervision.

What has been the best part about living in the TPOM community?

The way you build bonds with people, such as my friends Mary and Leslie. The way you help each other out, such as when my housemate Kela rode the bus with me to show me how to get to Slim & Husky’s so that I knew where to go for my first day of work.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time at TPOM?

I enjoyed activities like when we watched the Super Bowl together and when Ashley took me to get tacos in my first week. 

What advice would you give to people considering the program at TPOM?

To really consider it, to be willing, and to give it their all. Be serious about change and be committed to want a life for yourself. It’s a good place to start over. There are lots of opportunities up here in Nashville.

Stay informed

Subscribe to our newsletter for important TPOM updates, events, and inspiring stories of transformation.