USA Today: ALICE MARIE JOHNSON | OPINION CONTRIBUTOR
A year ago, I was sitting in a federal prison in Alabama as a nonviolent offender, hoping that my prayers for mercy from a life sentence would be heard.
This weekend, I will speak at a conference in Palm Springs, California, organized by the Seminar Network. Founded by Charles Koch, the group of philanthropists works to remove barriers preventing people from realizing their full potential.
How was my transition from prisoner to inspirational speaker possible?
I owe a debt of gratitude to President Donald Trump, whose clemency led to my release from prison in June after I had served 21 years separated from my family and loved ones. And I am also thankful for people like Kim Kardashian West, Jared Kushner, Mark Holden of Koch Industries, Brittany Barnett, co-founder of the Buried Alive Project, and many others who advocated on my behalf.