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The following is a short piece about my family's first vacation. My dad was in prison for 33 years, and in November of 2016, he was released and subsequently deported to Mexico.

Growing up, visiting my dad in various California prisons, with my mom by my dad's side, I didn't know anything different. Because of how others would react to my story, I knew my life was very different from everyone else. This project is the culmination of 33 years in the prison system, by way of my father 's life sentence, and our journey as a nuclear family in an unconventional way.

This piece is merely an introduction to my family as we travel to my dad's hometown of Bellavista, Mexico. I am currently working on unveiling the raw, and at times ugly truths about this entire process by digging deeper in to the details surrounding the life sentence imposed upon my dad, how it affected me as a young girl and the struggles it presented, and continues to present, although my father is technically free.

To come are the harsh realities of the dangers of becoming institutionalized, released and then expected to make something fruitful of what's left of your life after prison.

Tampa, FL, USA
InSeptember of 2017, I took an early retirement from my 14 year career as a Juvenile Corrections Officer to pursue my creative dreams. I had a vision of telling my family story in film, writing a personal memoir and creating a childrens book for kids with incarcerated fathers. At the age of 7, my father was issued a life sentence for murder. He served 33 years in the California prison system, and as of November of 2016, he was paroled, but subsequently deported to Mexico. In October of 2017, I began filming our story when we took our first family vacation ever. I found this Co//ab program online, and am eager to access any resources available to better tell my story, since I have no expereince in filmmaking. I have completed a short part of the film, and am in the works of fulfilling the rest of my vision. I am looking forward to soaking up any knowledge which will help me towards a compelling visual story of the various struggles of maintaining a sense of family while my father was behind bars. more...

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