We often hear the quote that it’s never too late to turn things around, however, some believe it to be a feel-good statement rather than an actual reality.
If at all you are one of those who believe that one can’t turn around life after they have gone too far, you need to read about Stephen Akpabio-Klementowski, a former drug dealer who is the living proof that no matter what your past is, you can still control your life for a better future.
Despite the fact that Stephen had spent 16 years in prison, he still managed to turn his life around by becoming a professor of criminology at a UK university by gaining a degree and two Masters.
Story of the drug peddler who became a Ph.D. holder?
As it often happens with most individuals who get into the crime business, in Stephen’s teenage years, he got into the wrong company after his father’s demise.
Ultimately, he was sent to jail for dealing in drugs. However, when he started his term, he didn’t speak to anyone and instead chose to work quietly in the kitchens for the first three months.
After a few months, he was recognized for his educational potential by the prison authorities and was further inspired to enroll at a university. Despite his fear of failure, Stephen took the words of encouragement positively, reports BBC.
He still decided to enroll in the UK’s Open University. What followed was his hard-working schedule of working in the kitchen during the day followed by studying at night.
He had to study while sitting on the toilet, as his cellmate slept soundly in the bed nearby. Stephen found a new sense of hope once he’d completed his first module, and he found the course was something he could focus on.
He found other inmates and guards questioned his motivation, with some telling him that his criminal record would hold him back, but Stephen ignored them, knowing he was changing for the better no matter the outcome.
Focused and determined, he studied in the toilets and didn’t let his cellmates’ noisy snores stop him from learning. However, while he completed his first module successfully, he still had to deal with a lot of negativity in the prison.
However, the inmates and guards would keep reminding him about his criminal record and how that would hold him back from earning a degree.
But Stephen didn’t pay any attention to their negativity and rather focused on his education. Finally, his hard work paid off. Owing to his educational potential and good behavior he was not only able to leave prison just after eight years but was also able to complete three degrees, two of which were Master level.
After his release, Stephen became a teacher at the open university and started working with students in prisons. The lecturer now has a family and leads a good life. He just hopes his story will inspire other prisoners to take up education.
A determined person can achieve anything they set their heart on. Kudos to Stephen for bringing such a positive change in his life. We wish him good luck for his future.