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Kaneesha Wilson

1735

Bold Points

1x

Nominee

3x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

I am a recovered addict/alcoholic with two years of successful sobriety and an infant son. I am attending UNT for pre-law and hope to one day soon attend law school after graduation.

Education

University of North Texas

Bachelor's degree program
2023 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Criminal Justice and Corrections, General
  • Minors:
    • American Sign Language
  • GPA:
    3.8

North Central Texas College

Associate's degree program
2017 - 2022
  • Majors:
    • Criminology
  • GPA:
    3.5

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

    -
  • Transfer schools of interest:

    -
  • Majors of interest:

    -
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Law Practice

    • Dream career goals:

      -

      Sports

      Swimming

      Club
      2000 - 202121 years

      Arts

      • howard university marching/concert band

        Music
        2006 – 2020
      Carole Willis Criminal Justice Reform Scholarship
      As a recovered addict and alcoholic, I have had many run-ins with the criminal justice system back when I was using and wrecking my life. You might assume at this statement, that I would naturally be negatively biased towards criminal justice as an institution. But that's where the miracle happened for me. Each time I was arrested, my self-worth was destroyed. Incarceration changes you, and hardens you. But then a ray of sunshine in the form of my criminal defense attorney came to visit me in jail. He treated me like the human being I no longer felt I deserved to be. He gave me hope and became my advocate in several charges when I had felt so lost and alone facing what I had done. In each of my dozen arrests, there was one thing in common. Each time, no matter how out of control I had become, officers, paramedics, hospital staff dealing with my overdoses, and professionals showed me compassion when I didn't deserve it. My mind began to change and open up, and I realized that these people who step in to advocate for those who are lost in the criminal justice process play a huge part in reminding the accused of their humanity. I knew I needed to become a part of this system, to take my own experiences and struggles and use them for good. I must become an advocate for someone facing criminal charges who feels lost and alone. I will pursue my dream of becoming a criminal defense attorney and I will find a way to give a voice to those who have lost their own. My specific goal includes finding programs and pro-bono work that allows me to work with drug addicts and alcoholics, give back to the system that gave me back myself, and set me on a path to sobriety. My experiences, my tattoos, and my heart will reach those who believe nobody could understand. I will reach those who are lost, and change the stigma around the criminal justice system. I will work towards reform and rehabilitative goals of deterrence and find a way when all seems lost. I plan on bringing hope and attention to those affected by addiction and seek new and innovative ways of resolving criminal charges in rehabilitative ways that effectively give my future clients hope. Addiction is a disease of the brain, and the justice system could use more attention to how we handle drug-related offenses. Maybe one day, restorative methods built to help instead of hurt so that future crimes involving drugs are no longer a statistic or an expectation.
      Janean D. Watkins Overcoming Adversity Scholarship
      As a recovered addict and alcoholic, I have had many run-ins with the criminal justice system back when I was using and wrecking my life. You might assume at this statement, that I would naturally be negatively biased towards criminal justice as an institution. But that's where the miracle happened for me. Each time I was arrested, my self-worth was destroyed. Incarceration changes you, and hardens you. But then a ray of sunshine in the form of my criminal defense attorney came to visit me in jail. He treated me like the human being I no longer felt I deserved to be. He gave me hope and became my advocate in several charges when I had felt so lost and alone facing what I had done. In each of my dozen arrests, there was one thing in common. Each time, no matter how out of control I had become, officers, paramedics, hospital staff dealing with my overdoses, and professionals showed me compassion when I didn't deserve it. My mind began to change and open up, and I realized that these people who step in to advocate for those who are lost in the criminal justice process play a huge part in reminding the accused of their humanity. I knew I needed to become a part of this system, to take my own experiences and struggles and use them for good. I must become an advocate for someone facing criminal charges who feels lost and alone. I will pursue my dream of becoming a criminal defense attorney and I will find a way to give a voice to those who have lost their own. My specific goal includes finding programs and pro-bono work that allows me to work with drug addicts and alcoholics, give back to the system that gave me back myself, and set me on a path to sobriety. My experiences, my tattoos, and my heart will reach those who believe nobody could understand. I will reach those who are lost, and change the stigma around the criminal justice system. I will work towards reform and rehabilitative goals of deterrence and find a way when all seems lost. I plan on bringing hope and attention to those affected by addiction and seek new and innovative ways of resolving criminal charges in rehabilitative ways that effectively give my future clients hope. Addiction is a disease of the brain, and the justice system could use more attention to how we handle drug-related offenses. Maybe one day, restorative methods built to help instead of hurt so that future crimes involving drugs are no longer a statistic or an expectation.
      Phillip Robinson Memorial Scholarship
      Winner
      As a recovered addict and alcoholic, I have had many run-ins with the criminal justice system back when I was using and wrecking my life. You might assume at this statement, that I would naturally be negatively biased towards criminal justice as an institution. But that's where the miracle happened for me. Each time I was arrested, my self-worth was destroyed. Incarceration changes you, and hardens you. But then a ray of sunshine in the form of my criminal defense attorney came to visit me in jail. He treated me like the human being I no longer felt I deserved to be. He gave me hope and became my advocate in several charges when I had felt so lost and alone facing what I had done. In each of my dozen arrests, there was one thing in common. Each time, no matter how out of control I had become, officers, paramedics, hospital staff dealing with my overdoses, and professionals showed me compassion when I didn't deserve it. My mind began to change and open up, and I realized that these people who step in to advocate for those who are lost in the criminal justice process play a huge part in reminding the accused of their humanity. I knew I needed to become a part of this system, to take my own experiences and struggles and use them for good. I must become an advocate for someone facing criminal charges who feels lost and alone. I will pursue my dream of becoming a criminal defense attorney and I will find a way to give a voice to those who have lost their own. My specific goal includes finding programs and pro-bono work that allows me to work with drug addicts and alcoholics, give back to the system that gave me back myself, and set me on a path to sobriety. My experiences, my tattoos, and my heart will reach those who believe nobody could understand. I will reach those who are lost, and change the stigma around the criminal justice system. I will work towards reform and rehabilitative goals of deterrence and find a way when all seems lost. I plan on bringing hope and attention to those affected by addiction and seek new and innovative ways of resolving criminal charges in rehabilitative ways that effectively give my future clients hope. Addiction is a disease of the brain, and the justice system could use more attention to how we handle drug-related offenses. Maybe one day, restorative methods built to help instead of hurt so that future crimes involving drugs are no longer a statistic or an expectation.
      Empowering Motherhood Scholarship
      As children, do any of us have dreams of becoming an addict or an alcoholic when we grow up? For me personally, all I ever wanted was to become someone important who took care of people. I had a wonderful childhood, and until the age of 14, life was magical. During my first year of high school, when I was still very much a child, that magic was suddenly gone from my world. I was sexually assaulted by the first boy I had a crush on. I was an athlete, and much of my identity was built on my strength and my power. Nothing in my life felt out of my control until that moment. On the day of the assault, I took my first drink at the age of 14. I needed to change how I felt and I was desperate for my control back. Alcohol in water bottles in my gym locker became weed, but eventually, that stopped "working". Fast forward almost 13 years later, and I was hopelessly addicted to IV drugs, but still, I had not found any peace. Life became bleak, and by some miracle, my husband first met me in a rare period of sobriety. Somehow, God placed this man in my life for a reason! He stayed by my side for years as I stumbled through life. I returned home to my husband after being out using and was pregnant with our son. Just when I thought I would never feel anything more than despair, we went to the emergency room. We were both certain the baby couldn't have survived my drug use. It took several minutes as the doctor searched for a heartbeat. What happened next is why I am here today to tell my story. I heard Lukah's heartbeat, healthy and somehow strong. God had saved me my whole life for this moment. Suddenly, I wasn't angry at the football player from high school that took my innocence away. I was filled with a love I didn't know I was capable of. That day, the 4th of July holiday of 2021, marks my sobriety date. I celebrated two years of sobriety this past summer with my beautiful son and the man who showed me a love I had stopped showing myself so long ago. I went back to school during my pregnancy, after dropping out almost a decade prior, graduated community college, got accepted at my local university, and am now a year away from graduating with my bachelor's degree in criminal justice. I had given up on myself, but a mother can do anything for her child, so nothing can stop me now. . Being a mother has given me purpose and the drive to pursue my dreams of attending law school, becoming a lawyer, and being the advocate so many people in addiction need as they face the criminal consequences of actions that I am intimately familiar with. When I feel like I can't do another homework assignment after a long battle with my toddler over bath time, brushing his teeth, and reading books together, the look in my son's eyes pushes me forward. Having a child means learning how to manage your time as a student and a mom, and it's not easy. But I want women out there who are afraid to go back to school once they have children, you can do it! You've already done something miraculous bringing new life into this world, and now you can set an example for your child of what it looks like to push forward even when it's difficult.
      Hyacinth Malcolm Memorial Scholarship
      As children, do any of us have dreams of becoming an addict or an alcoholic when we grow up? For me personally, all I ever wanted was to become someone important who took care of people. I had a wonderful childhood, and until the age of 14, life was magical. During my first year of high school, when I was still very much a child, that magic was suddenly gone from my world. I was sexually assaulted by the first boy who asked me to a school dance. I was an athlete, and much of my identity was built on my strength and my power. Nothing in my life felt out of my control until that moment. How could something so horrible happen to a good person? On the day of the assault, I took my first drink of alcohol at the age of 14. I suddenly needed to change how I felt and I was desperate for my control back. Alcohol in water bottles in my gym locker became weed, but eventually, that stopped "working". Fast forward almost 13 years later, and I was hopelessly addicted to IV drugs, but still, I had not found any peace. Life became bleak, and by some miracle, my husband first met me in a rare period of sobriety, and we fell in love. Somehow, God placed this man in my life and gave him the patience and wisdom to see beyond my chaos. He stayed by my side for years as I stumbled over the mess I had made of my life. I returned home to my husband after being out using and was pregnant with our son. Just when I thought I would never feel anything more than despair, we went to the emergency room. We were both certain the baby couldn't have survived my drug use. It took several minutes as the doctor searched for a heartbeat. My arms were bruised with track marks and poorly drawn tattoos over scarred wrists from a botched suicide attempt. Then, everything changed. I heard Lukah's heartbeat, healthy and somehow strong. God had saved me my whole life for this moment. Suddenly, I wasn't angry at the football player from high school that took my innocence away. I was filled with a love I didn't know I was capable of. That day, the 4th of July weekend 2021, is my sobriety date. I celebrated two years of sobriety this past summer with my beautiful son and the man who showed me a love I had stopped showing myself so long ago. I went back to school during my pregnancy, after dropping out almost a decade prior, and graduated community college, got accepted at my local university and am now a year away from graduating with my bachelor's degree in criminal justice. I had given up on myself, but a mother can do anything for her child, so nothing can stop me now. One day at a time, I push forward, and that's because I have overcome myself and am now ready to take on the world. I have become the hero in my own story, with my son to take care of like I always dreamed. With this scholarship, I can better care for my son while I'm in school working towards greatness. We are a single-income household, so Lukah goes without certain things. I have learned to give glory to God and say thank you every morning, and I am so happy to see my child's beautiful face. I will use this great gift to give him a beautiful Christmas this year!
      Joshua A. Vaughn Memorial Scholarship
      As a recovered addict and alcoholic, I have had many run-ins with the criminal justice system back when I was using and wrecking my life. You might assume at this statement, that I would naturally be negatively biased towards criminal justice as an institution. But that's where the miracle happened for me. Each time I was arrested, my self-worth was destroyed. Incarceration changes you, and hardens you. But then a ray of sunshine in the form of my criminal defense attorney came to visit me in jail. He treated me like the human being I no longer felt I deserved to be. He gave me hope and became my advocate in several charges when I had felt so lost and alone facing what I had done. In each of my dozen arrests, there was one thing in common. Each time, no matter how out of control I had become, officers, paramedics, hospital staff dealing with my overdoses, and professionals showed me compassion when I didn't deserve it. My mind began to change and open up, and I realized that these people who step in to advocate for those who are lost in the criminal justice process play a huge part in reminding the accused of their humanity. I knew I needed to become a part of this system, to take my own experiences and struggles and use them for good. I must become an advocate for someone facing criminal charges who feels lost and alone. I will pursue my dream of becoming a criminal defense attorney and I will find a way to give a voice to those who have lost their own. My specific goal includes finding programs and pro-bono work that allows me to work with drug addicts and alcoholics, give back to the system that gave me back myself, and set me on a path to sobriety. My experiences, my tattoos, and my heart will reach those who believe nobody could understand. I will reach those who are lost, and change the stigma around the criminal justice system. I will work towards reform and rehabilitative goals of deterrence and find a way when all seems lost. I plan on bringing hope and attention to those affected by addiction and seek new and innovative ways of resolving criminal charges in rehabilitative ways that effectively give my future clients hope. Addiction is a disease of the brain, and the justice system could use more attention to how we handle drug-related offenses. Maybe one day, restorative methods built to help instead of hurt so that future crimes involving drugs are no longer a statistic or an expectation.
      Heather Lynn Scott McDaniel Memorial Scholarship
      As children, do any of us have dreams of becoming an addict or an alcoholic when we grow up? For me personally, all I ever wanted was to become someone important who took care of people. I had a wonderful childhood, and until the age of 14, life was magical. During my first year of high school, when I was still very much a child, that magic was suddenly gone from my world. I was sexually assaulted by the first boy who asked me to a school dance. I was an athlete, and much of my identity was built on my strength and my power. Nothing in my life felt out of my control until that moment. How could something so horrible happen to a good person? Why did everything suddenly feel painful, when life had been so idyllic for me? On the day of the assault, I took my first drink of alcohol at the age of 14. I suddenly needed to change how I felt and I was desperate for my control back. Alcohol in water bottles in my gym locker became pills and cigarettes, marijuana came later and eventually, that stopped "working". Fast forward almost 13 years later, and I was hopelessly addicted to IV drugs, but still, I had not found any comfort or peace. I was so angry at God, and so angry at the world for taking my perfect world from me. Life became bleak, and by some miracle, my husband met me in a rare period of sobriety, and we fell in love. Somehow, God placed this man in my life and gave him the patience and wisdom to see beyond my chaos. He stayed by my side for years as I stumbled over the mess I had made of my life. After a particularly horrible drug bender, I returned home to my husband pregnant with our son. Just when I thought I would never feel anything more than despair, we went to the emergency room. We were both certain the baby couldn't have survived my drug use and alcoholism. It took several minutes as the doctor searched for a heartbeat. My arms were bruised with track marks and poorly drawn tattoos over scarred wrists from a botched suicide attempt. I knew the nurses must be whispering about me. Then, everything changed. I heard Lukah's heartbeat, healthy and somehow strong. God had saved me my whole life for this moment. Suddenly, I wasn't angry at the football player from high school that took my innocence away. I forgot all of my anguish and selfishness in addiction and was filled with a love I didn't know I was capable of. That day, the 4th of July weekend 2021, is my sobriety date. I celebrated two years of sobriety this past summer with my beautiful son and the man who showed me a love I had stopped showing myself so long ago. I went back to school during my pregnancy, after dropping out almost a decade prior, and graduated community college, got accepted at my local university and am now a year away from graduating with my bachelor's degree in criminal justice. I had given up on myself, but a mother can do anything for her child, so nothing can stop me now. One day at a time, I push forward, and that's because I have overcome myself and am now ready to take on the world. I have become the hero in my own story, with my son to take care of like I always dreamed.