“You don't know what you did for me. I’m finally coming into my own." Metz wanted to say to Obama after his intervention helped her make a new life.
When Barack Obama granted clemency to hundreds of inmates incarcerated with harsh prison sentences, especially on drug-related charges, he may have granted a second chance to them to make a better life. As reported by The Hechinger Report, Danielle Bernard Metz did exactly that and turned her life around.
Danielle Bernard Metz was convicted in 1993 along with her husband Kevin Huff who ran a cocaine trafficking ring. She was given a sentence of life imprisonment but after the clemency, she returned home. She had spent 23 years of her life in prison and it was difficult, even for her, to see how she could make it in the real world.
When she was out, she was introduced to Brent Hodges, an admissions counselor, at Southern University at New Orleans. He did not care about the fact that she had served time in prison and helped her get admission in the University. She was 50-years-old when she became a college freshman.
It was extremely difficult for her to blend in with the students at the University and she also had a tough time dealing with subjects which included computers and math. Metz' 32-year-old niece, Santana Harper, then came to help her out. She helped Metz through different courses, guiding her patiently, and helping her absorb the learnings which were on offer. According to Metz, she struggled so much that she was actually afraid of looking at her results. But her hard work paid off. She managed to make it to the Dean's list with a 3.75 grade point average.
Metz revealed that she wanted to call Obama and say, “You don't know what you did for me. I’m finally coming into my own. I made the honor roll.”
The AmeriCorps scholarship had granted he $2,200 which was used up after her first semester but she was able to find a job wherein she worked as a “violence interrupter.” The job required her to be on-call and rush to the hospital anytime a young person got shot.
Today, she has become one of the inspirational figures who fought all odds and took the opportunity granted to them to become better, both personally, and as a citizen. She has a story which is now motivating others to take a leap of faith and become the best versions of themselves, no matter what.