report from derek

derek king in dc

Hello everyone. As I said in my last post, I am here again writing to you an update of the progress I have been making as I begin my journey from Florida to start a new life. Things have been going well at work. I have been learning quickly, and it has been really encouraging and motivating to see how quickly I can master everything. Also it has been a wonderful experience meeting all kinds of different people in the community. Working at a coffee shop is a great place to learn all kinds of things about many different types of people. Another wonderful thing about the coffee shop is how it has its own community there every evening, the same groups that come consistently.

Now that I have a pretty consistent work schedule and I have settled into a routine there, I can focus on my personal life and strategizing for the future. Budgeting is my next area of growth. This is where I can actually see the void in my life from the 7 years I spent away from society, not understanding how it works and not being able to learn with everyone else how to function out here. The biggest thing that I have noticed with the difference between my current situation in comparison with others my age is how there is a big gap of time where I had no opportunity to budget, and I grew up in a world where money had very little meaning.

I have recently learned how to travel on the metro, which has been such an amazing thing for me. On my days off I have been able to ride the metro to places around town and to see the sites. I love the convenience of traveling on the metro. Now that I am comfortable with it I have been planning different places to go visit that are in walking distance of the metro stops. Last weekend I went to visit the United Stated Botanical Gardens, National Museum of the Native American, and The Air and Space Museum. Then I stopped for dinner with a friend at a local Thai restaurant. He has been my guide here in DC, showing me where all of the different sites are and he brought up a good point the other day. He explained to me that since I live here I don’t have to see everything at once and pack so much into one day. I have the opportunity to take my time and learn the area and finding new places to explore in the future.

So far this move has been an exciting new adventure and I am so blessed to have found this opportunity. I am looking forward to the months to come and what they may bring. Through my experiences I have learned that success comes from strong will and a positive attitude. Setting goals and then making a plan of action to accomplish those goals. It is quite simple but as I am seeing more and more often it is very rare to find people who think like this in their lives and about the course their future will take. Most people just go day by day and allow life to just take them wherever it will. I’ve realized that I cannot live my life like that because I have a lot of lost time to make up for. Life is too precious to wait around to see what might happen next.


If you wish to make a contribution to assist Derek’s prison-to-freedom transition, you can earmark your gift for his benefit.

donate hands

To make a contribution to the Redemption Project, please use the link at the top of this page or click here. Thank you!


Groove of the Day

Listen to Frank Sinatra performing “The Coffee Song”


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