TIME: For Immediate Release
DATE: August 30, 2019
CONTACT: John Tompkins, Communications Coordinator
(281) 756-3551 office
SUBJECT: ACC Graduate from TDCJ Speaks about Experiences
PHOTOS: From event
ACC Graduate from TDCJ Speaks about Experiences
When Albert Yancey was 17, he was an honor roll student, starred on the high school football team and was selling drugs.
“I was living two lives,” Yancey said. “I eventually succumbed to a that lifestyle.”
After he was convicted of a violent crime and sentenced to prison, Yancey struggled to find meaning in his life and he wasn’t sure if he would ever see the outside of a prison unit ever again.
“I was lying on the floor and I thought I was going to die,” he said.
After he was released from administrative segregation in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Yancey decided to pursue an education with Alvin Community College.
“I began to tell myself that I had to do something different,” he said.
Yancey spoke with ACC faculty and staff members during the Fall 2019 Convocation about receiving his education while still an inmate with TDCJ. He is the first ACC graduate from the TDCJ program to speak at the college.
“I was impressed that Mr. Yancey took the time to come to Alvin Community College to speak with faculty about his experiences taking ACC courses while he was incarcerated,” ACC President Dr. Christal M. Albrecht said. “He shared how his life was turned around by earning two degrees from ACC, for which his family paid his tuition. He is now gainfully employed and was named employee of the month last month at his job. It was inspirational to know what a difference we can make in the lives of our students.”
ACC was the first institution of higher education in Texas to offer college programs at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in 1965. In 2016, ACC was one of 67 colleges throughout the United States to be chose to participate in the Second Chance Pell program, which provides grants to inmate students.
Prior to enrolling in college while in prison, each inmate must first earn their high school diploma or GED, and pass all the same entrance tests required for every college student.
Prison is its own world with its own set of rules, behavior and even economics, Yancey said.
“ACC exposed me to something different,” he said.
While serving his time, Yancey earned an Associate Degree in Management as well as an Associate Degree in General Studies. Since his recent release on parole, Yancey has worked with an automotive dealership and he has started a ministry to help at-risk youth.
“Since I’ve been released, I feel like I’m moving at a fast pace,” he said. “When you find a purpose you begin to walk with a purpose. Without you all, I would not be me.”
Photo cutline: ACC alumnus Albert Yancey speaks with faculty and staff members during a breakout session of the 2019 Fall Convocation