One Church One Offender

By WISE Web Admin

June 3, 2011 Updated Jun 3, 2011 at 7:00 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Today, dozens of FWCS students were treated a talk by Kemba Smith, a woman who gained national attention in 1994 when she was sentenced to nearly 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole for dating a crack-cocaine kingpin.

Today, Smith shared her life’s story. A story of tragedy and triumph, Smith’s then boyfriend was the leader of a $4 million drug ring. As prosecutors closed in on her boyfriend and prepared for litigation, he was found dead. Smith took the fall.

Smith spent six years in federal prison only to be granted executive clemency by then President Bill Clinton. She says love blinded her and forced her into a situation that she hopes no woman ever endures. Her story is one of inspiration and hope for the young men and women she spoke today.

Smith’s message is simple.

“Not to give up hope. Not to look back. That you can look forward from the person that you used to be, but you have got to have some drive, some ambition, some desire to want to not to do the same things.”

She says anyone close to her situation can learn from her story.

“They don't want to end up like me and what happened to me. Because even though they see the good side of it now, I think I've showed well enough that there was some heartache, pain, stuff that I never would have imagined going through. And just understanding that you can come from a negative situation and come out on top.”

For a full look at Smith’s story click the link Kemba Smith Foundation.

Smith will be speaking once more on Sunday, June 5 at the Imani Baptist Temple beginning at 9:30 a.m.

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