Prisoners talk with students about life lessons - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Prisoners talk with students about life lessons

Earlily Aganon Earlily Aganon
Yolanda Nasser Yolanda Nasser
Charmaine Heanu Charmaine Heanu
Sarah-Lee Chun Sarah-Lee Chun
Kira Iwamoto Kira Iwamoto

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HAWAIINEWSNOW) - It was much more than a lesson from a textbook. Today private school students mingled with a convicted killer, burglar and drug dealers all to learn a valuable lesson.

The inmates are unlikely teachers but still they feel they have things to give.

Earlily Aganon is serving a life sentence convicted of killing an infant that was in her care.

"I have identified the rough spots in my journey and I don't want to go there again," said Aganon.

Yolanda Nasser is serving a 10 year sentence for burglary and robbery. She told the story of her family's heartache because she, her mom and 16 year old son have all been locked up in prison.

"We never talked about it in our house, we were just told to shut up and what goes on in the house stays in the house," said Nasser.

She's speaking up now hoping to teach kids to talk about their feelings and get help.

"Hopefully my example and what I went through will help the next person because I'm sure there was someone in that audience that has something they want to talk about and are not sure who to go to," said Nasser.

"If you're having problems please talk to your parents I know they're working hard to give you everything your heart desires, but they love you and you need to know that and trust them," Charmaine Heanu, told the more than 250 students in the audience.

While they told their stories, the inmates were never out of eyeshot from the guards.

After words they broke bread and talked about breaking bad habits.

"I do feel slightly vulnerable but at the same time these are human beings also and we've all made mistakes and some are more serious than others, but I feel it's important to talk with them on a human level," said Sarah-Lee Chun, St. Andrew's Priory, Senior.

"I think that pertains to high school students the most because we take risks and we don't think about the consequences and we don't think twice," said Kira Iwamoto, St. Andrew's Priory, Senior.

"I truly believe my story helped somebody in there," said Nasser.

The school said it arranged the presentation to give students a chance to hear from people they might not otherwise talk with and as part of the healing process for the inmates.

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