The Beat and Me

by Michael Mackey

This program (The Beat Within) has changed my life by giving me the feedback and courage to open up about my problems, to seek help, understand things that I cannot gure out on my own, meet new friends (good friends), and to be heard by many. I didn’t really open up to people, I didn’t let people know the real me, when I wanted to be heard or understood, no one ever helped or listened to what I had to say. And those who did hear what I had to say twisted my words and took advantage of the situation. This made me “lock up” on everyone. I never trusted anyone with that information.

Being involved in this program has brought being heard to a different level. Without this program I was being heard on a small and shallow level. With this program I am being heard on a vast level. I’m the kind of person who does want to be heard, and who also wants to help others. This program has changed me in a more positive way. read more

The Power of The Mind

by Daniel

To the amazing young men and women incarcerated across the United States of America – my question to you is this. Take a long, hard look at where you at. Ask yourself – do you like where you are right now?

I’m assuming that most of the readers of The Beat Within are looking from left to right at the overall same things: three walls, a ceiling, a door that you cannot push, pull, or turn open, a stainless steel sink, toilet, and a steel mirror.

I’m also assuming you have trouble sleeping at night in your cell. You’re kept awake by the hard surface you’re lying on, the “mattress”, the tiny plastic pillow, the lights that never completely go off, and the people that beep your door every fteen minutes.

Most of the time though, it’s usually your worst enemy inside and outside the juvenile hall. It’s your OWN MIND! The thoughts you hear at 11pm in your cell. The thoughts that can be about anything and everything – your family, your friends, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your block, and everything around and in between. read more

Dear The Beat Within Readers / Prison Letters for Our Struggling Youth

by Johnny Rodriguez

May this letter be well received in a few years. I am humbly proud to return praying my letter and motivational poem touches your hearts and opens you up to the sobering facts of life.

In December of 2013, almost three years ago, I lost a new, yet dear, friend, Alicia. At only fourteen she had been dealing with hardship of a broken home, gangs, and school. She was mercilessly gunned down in the drug and gang infested streets of Compton, California, before even having had the chance to mature out of that wayward life.

Within the time I was blessed to get to know Alicia, I discovered a young female who had lost her mom much too soon. While she had a loving father, to my knowledge, it was not enough to keep her from seeking a family and a meaning from a gang. She matured way too fast for her age and ended up a delinquent. read more

Like No One Else

by Zuhaur

Muhammad Ali was and still is one of the most in uential human beings of all time. He fought for injustice committed against African Americans. He was the best there is in the boxing world and he proved it by his actions. His name continues to bring joy to other people because that’s what the effect of his entire life is.

There is nobody else who has led a life like Muhammad Ali and there was not a single moment when he failed to prove himself. This is who Muhammad Ali is.