Heracio’s dad (Heracio Harts) is a graduate of The Last Mile entrepreneurship program at San Quentin State Prison. His dad served an 8 1/2 year sentence and returned home on March 12, 2013, and he is currently working at Rally.org.
Heracio attended several recent media events with is dad. Here is his perspective of the experience:
When I was first invited to attend The Last Mile presentation at Quora and Stanford University with my father, I realized in a moment that my dad was on the verge of a new breakthrough.
My dad shared his excitement with our family over the potential opportunity that could stem from his visits at Quora, Stanford and NBC. I was unsure of what to expect, and my father continued to rattle off names of those who had been critical in his development. He also mentioned that CNN would be in attendance at his Quora appearance, recording his every word.
While at Quora, I witnessed my father deliver his message of belief and hard work to perfect strangers, this was the first of many proud moments. I have been asked many times, “how does it feel to see your father in this element?” the only response that I can ever seem to conjure up is a big smile expressing that these are the moments that I can say what a young son longs for, “that’s my dad!” When we arrived at Stanford University I was overwhelmed with pride to walk the corridors of the university side-by-side with my father, marveling at the beauty of the institution and anticipating his second talk of the day. As the crowd grew in the auditorium in which he was to speak, we gathered for a picture on the stools placed for those who would speak on the discussion panel. After taking the photo, my father and I noticed that we unintentionally posed in the same manner and in that moment we both laughed at the realization that we are very alike in our mannerism.
The proudest moment that I hold close is walking into the doors of NBC. As we approached the entrance I said in a narrating voice, “Welcome to NBC Bay Area News,” attempting to calm my dad down as his nerves were reaching an all-time high, he looked at me with a smile trying his best to contain himself from sweating. In addition to the laughs, NBC was my proudest moment because my dad was going to be on a nationally viewed network. We had the fortunate opportunity to meet the producer, director, and the man behind the remotely controlled cameras. Being that I am a mass media arts major at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA – meeting these individuals only added to my excitement. The trip to NBC overall was like a trip to the candy store. I am very glad to have experienced it with my father.
Over the past few weeks, I have enjoyed seeing my father in a different element and also seeing his hard work and dedication finally paying off. He is a living testament to the possibility of utilizing every opportunity The Last Mile has to offer. It gives me great pride to witness my father express his thoughts and concerns and to stand as an inspiration to our community. My dad is a constant reminder that with hard work and dedication anything is possible. I am glad that society has welcomed my father home as a returned citizen and counts him as a contributing member of society.
# # #
This program with Quora is part of The Last Mile San Quentin. Twitter: @TLM