My name is Ebony Hicks, I’m a 40 year old native of Winston Salem NC. I’m the Director of the Transition to Work Program. I know personally what it’s like to be an offender as well as an ex-offender. With my experience, God has given me the opportunity to share both what God will do, and what God can do. I am an example of God’s love and forgiveness. I am passionate about the offender and ex-offender population because I have been THERE! It is God’s plan that I am here and able to help provide the tools that are needed by those leaving incarceration to become a successful citizen in the community. Returning to prison is simply not an option.
I can remember at the end of my incarceration when I finally went on my first community volunteer pass with my sponsor to Crabtree Mall in Raleigh. I went into the restroom and noticed the people there were going so fast in and out, but I was stuck at the bathroom sink. Everything had changed after seven years of being away from society. My sponsor was not around because she wanted to give me my privacy as she waited on the other side of that door. However, I needed some help. I had never seen automatic faucets before and I didn’t know how they worked. At that moment I felt like I didn’t belong. I wanted to “GIVE UP”. Then my sponsor walked in and she explained it was a motion sink. She showed me where to place my hands. Embarrassed and out of place is how I felt at that moment.
This is one of the reasons why I am passionate about what I do. It’s the small things that will make an ex-offender give up on reentry. However, I’ve taken that experience and many others, and I am applying that to those I serve. They will be prepared in every way to stay out and never feel the need to give up!
-Ebony Hicks, Transition to Work Director