TEMPLETON, Calif- Students at Templeton high school were given a hard dose of reality. Three San Luis Obispo County jail inmates visited the school to talk about the life they had and lost.
"I graduated with high honors, I was dedicated," said Erin Soqui, an inmate in SLO County jail, as she addressed a room full of students.
25-year-old Erin Soqui, along with two other SLO County inmates, went from the courtroom to the classroom to tell their stories. "Drinking just on the weekends, I held a job in downtown Paso Robles, I played sports," said Soqui. Soqui was even athlete of the year one year at Paso Robles High, but her life soon spiraled out of control after she started using heroin and prescription drugs.
"Work didn't matter, school didn't matter, all that mattered was chasing that high I got for that very first time," said Soqui. Soquis story, growing up as an athlete and having family living right here in the county gave students something personal to take home.
"I do FAA and all that, it would be like me taking a bad road, and I don't want to do that, and I was just like her," said Kaitlin Hopkins, a student. The three women's stories are all basically the same, examples of how going down the wrong path in life led them into a whole lot of trouble but now they hope to help others avoid that same path.
"The little steps can be one big thing and that's a little scary how little things can make one big impact on your entire life," said Allyson Lawrence, a student.
This was the first time the SLO County Sheriffs Office had inmates at a school but it won't be the last. They plan to continue this series in the near future.
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