Local leaders share their stories of beating the odds, finding strength in adversity

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Everyone has a story. Some are more difficult to tell than others. In a virtual summit on Thursday; local leaders shared their stories that prove “your past doesn’t have to define your future.”

Lester Holt, one of the panelists, was arrested at age 19 and sentenced to life in prison.

“Was just really in a state of denial and shock. I couldn’t believe that I took this person’s life, and I’d be in prison for the rest of my life with maybe a 3% chance of getting out,” says Holt.

He served 21 years before his release. In those years, he found “the power of resilience” through faith. Holt is now an author, motivational speaker and advocate for those living after incarceration.

Sherrikka Myers is the founder of Every 1 Voice Matters; a non-profit that provides educational tools available to all children. Myers was the driving force behind the summit; in the hopes that children would tune in and feel inspired.

“We’re living in a judgmental world; let’s be honest. I want them to think ‘If they did it, we can too,'” says Myers.

After tonight’s success, Myers says the conversation will continue. She hopes that their stories will remind the world what it needs most right now.

“Faith, love, determination, perseverance. And still being able to come back and help others. Because some people think when they’ve gone through that in their life, they think ‘that’s it.’ But, it’s not,” she says.

To stay connected with Every 1 Voice Matters, click here.

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