"My name is All-some Andrew and I've been involved with AVP for 1.5 years and have witnessed what AVP can do for a man who has lost his wife, kids, and home and is mad at everything. But with AVP he has turned himself into a good man with a good heart. All thanks to AVP."
Andrew Ali, a.k.a. All-some Andrew, AVP Auburn (Prison) Facilitator
"I can honestly say that if it had not been for AVP, I never would have gotten out of prison. AVP opened doors for me that I never knew existed. Before taking AVP, I was an extreme introvert with a fifth grade education and no social skills. Because of AVP, I went to college and earned five degrees, along with many other accomplishments. I served 37 years in prison and upon my release, I got in touch with AVP in Buffalo and attend monthly facilitators meetings. Life has never been better."
- Jerry Balone
"In 1992 I began a profound transformative journey thanks to God and AVP, from being a tough guy (Hammerin' Hank) to that of one whose social consciousness, community activism and advocacy for the hungry / homeless / seniors / folks in need of conflict resolution skills guides me today. As Handsome Hank I recognize conflict is inherent in the human spirit, with variegated choices from which to choose. I appeal to you to help us to help others still stuck in their win-lose mindset, in moving to see the win-win within."
- Henry Rivera, AVP Facilitator, food pantry manager and halfway house leader.
"In 1983 I was a 20 year old young man who was serving a 20 to life sentence. I was introduced to AVP by an older gentleman. Little did I know, that was the beginning of my life... After spending twenty-two years in prison, and growing up with AVP being an integral part of my life I can truly say that if it wasn't for AVP, I would not have obtained my AA, BA and masters Degrees while in prison. I recently started a not-for-profit agency that houses formerly incarcerated individuals. AVP and Quaker principles are its guiding forces."
- Mark Graham, Director, The Redemption Center, Brooklyn, NY
"If there is such a thing as a miraculous change, then I can truthfully say that it was through AVP. I began to grow from a person filled with hate, anger and despair into a person who believes that he, too, is responsible for the protection, preservation and enrichment of humanity."
-Robert Martin, AVP/NY Board Council member
"My grandfather was in the Indonesian military during World War II and he brought his wartime experiences of violence into his home and then my father brought that violence from his childhood into my childhood. I know that war and violence do nothing to create true resolution, that violence only creates more violence. AVP has transformed my ability to love and continually inspires me when I see others who are also changed by AVP."
-Sarah Mandolang, AVP Facilitator in prisons, the community and Aceh, Indonesia.
"When I was younger, I used to do everything my way all my life. Even after I got married, I still did everything my way, even after my children came along. Then I was sent to prison and over the years I got into AVP and it showed me a way to get all the stuff out in the open and it made me a better person. My children have seen a change in me that was not there before."
– Glenn Van Norstrand, a.k.a. Glad Glenn, AVP Auburn (Prison) Facilitator
"I came to prison and was lost. I could have been swallowed up by the politics, agendas and unhappiness around me, but I wasn’t. AVP provided a guiding light. That light embraced me with community, transforming power, and the opportunity to empower myself. It’s my choice to continue to walk in the light of AVP, but without this light, I would have no choice but to wander in the dark."
– Michael Shane Hale, a.k.a. Second Chance Shane, AVP Auburn (Prison) Facilitator
"AVP has given me a sense of hope after 26 years of imprisonment, and a new found purpose in life. I strive to better myself and others and have found a sense of humanity behind these prison walls that are inhumane. Please give, help make a chance."
– Richard Davis, a.k.a. Rick the Ruler, AVP Auburn (Prison) Facilitator
"AVP has become more of a way of life for me and each member has been my family and backbone. Just knowing that I can depend and lean on individuals who can relate to and help me with the everyday temptation, trials and tribulations makes life that much easier. Growing up in an environment where independence equals strength, dependency equals weakness and violence is the answer... I knew no other way to deal with things. I lived in darkness, and AVP and its members shined a light on me. When I felt I was at my lowest... it lifted me up and when things seem to be the worst, AVP helps make things better. The concept of AVP and the dedication, devotion and genuine kindness of its members/volunteers has encouraged me to become a better friend, better son, better brother, better uncle, better father, and a better man."
– Stephen Jones, a.k.a. Successful Steve, AVP Auburn (Prison) Facilitator
"To me, as an outside volunteer facilitator, the experience of AVP has been eye-opening and heartwarming. It is a privilege to participate in a program where men are working diligently to develop ways of thinking and interacting positively that will help them in every situation, in and outside the prison."
– Lili MacCormick a.k.a. Lucky Lili, AVP Auburn (Prison) Facilitator
"Before coming to AVP I was known as an introvert, one who holds everything inside not knowing the damage I was doing to myself and others. It took AVP to open me up to my feelings in being able to express and identify with different emotions I wasn’t able to deal with before AVP. AVP has taught me a lot about embracing non-violent paths. I can now look at life with a new meaning in a sense of hope I didn’t have before AVP. AVP has become a home away from home for me. This is my village and I am their child."
– Omar Richardson, a.k.a. Optimistic O, AVP Auburn (Prison) Facilitator
"An amazing fact about AVP is that our experiential workshops are run by volunteers. We have a part-time office person who answers the phone, produces the newsletter and sends out materials, but she, too, is a volunteer when facilitating workshops. Last year 19,560 volunteer hours were logged in New York State. Those of us who volunteer ourselves are changed in the process."
– Jill McLellan, a.k.a. Jumpin’ Jill, AVP Auburn (Prison) Outside Coordinator
"For all of us who’ve ever built anything, there’s nothing more valuable than a quality tool. There’s Craftsman, Stanley, and Black-n-Decker. However, in AVP, we use Transforming Power. Transforming Power is a tool that, if used properly, can build character and community. It also empowers while it educates. So if you’re looking to make a quality investment- Transforming Power is the stock to buy into. (I know, I’m living proof…). AVP is a lifetime learning experience that has helped change me for the better. When I was first introduced to AVP, like many men, I rejected it. I thought I was too cool to engage in the fun and games AVP had to offer. Now, 14 years in, many workshops, and a great circle of AVP friends, my service to AVP is permanent. I recommend it to anyone who is seeking change because it’s real, it’s transformative, and it works! Viva la AVP."
– Kha Gould, a.k.a. Kharismatic Kha, AVP Auburn (Prison) Inside Coordinator
"AVP has allowed me to be part of a community that crosses boundaries of gender, race, and class. The opportunity to co-facilitate workshops with incarcerated people has enabled me to put into practice my belief that all human beings are deserving of respect and dignity. It has changed my view of the world and made me realize the incredible power of the human capacity to embrace positive change despite enormous challenges."
– Heather Pincock, a.k.a. Hyper Heather, AVP Auburn (Prison) Facilitator
"AVP has helped me to embrace change and allowed me to be more open towards how I deal with people in general. Being able to find time in my life where I can communicate as well as give positive feedback tells me I’m able to touch someone in order to change them. My past experiences have given me the tool where I can now use a negative to create a positive. That’s what AVP has done for me help to recreate."
– Marlon Barry, a.k.a. God True GT, AVP Auburn (Prison) Facilitator
"My name is Gary Stewart and I’ve been involved with AVP now for twelve years because I am a witness to what I’ve seen transformed in others whom have been touched by AVP. My family is touched by AVP through me. I am a much better person in many ways all because I’ve found the guidance of AVP. An old song says “what the world needs now is love, sweet love” and that is how I feel about AVP. Thank you."
– Gary Stewart, a.k.a. Postive Poppi, AVP Auburn (Prison) Facilitator
"AVP has provided me with many opportunities for growth. In the year since I began coming to prison workshops as a volunteer, I have improved my ability to express complex feelings succinctly, my listening skills, and my ability to empathize. In the few months since my training for facilitators workshop, I have learned to facilitate with a team, to respond to new and challenging situations, and to change plans as situations dictate. I look forward to learning more and gaining new members of my AVP family, inside and outside of prison walls."
- Franklin Crump, a.k.a. Fun Loving Franklin, AVP Auburn (Prison) Facilitator
"AVP has provided a safe space for me to explor how to solve conflicts by listening, seeking common ground with others, and then building consensus based on that foundation. In addition, AVP has provided me with the tools to help integrate these ideas back into my life.
- Mike Miller, a.k.a. Mellow Mike, AVP Auburn (Prison) Facilitator
"My personal life falls within many trails that lead to trauma, which lead to a change of heart. The question I always ask myself, is how can I grow, How can I become a better person, and most of all, how can I leave my life in God’s hands? How can I? I ask myself, but after many questions and failures I believe that God is changing me, and what I want to say to ya’ll is that I see this life as a gift even when you see that it is a challenge.
Use this AVP workshop as if it were a job, The more you workin’ it the better you will be. If it change so many people’s lives, I believe it can change yours too. Just take it and never let go of it, because the more less violent you are the easier life will become. Like Jesus said, just turn the other cheek and let it be.
I’m going to close with this I am going to use these Transforming Power Guidelines for a long time because it falls within the person I want to be. Because it gives me a chance to draw closer to God. Look in the Bible it relates to these guidelines. It will be better if you just trust in God because he’ll do a beautiful job on you. He did it for me. I didn’t really believe in anything before I came to prison, but a miracle happened to me. Believe me he can do the same for you."
Rahim Dunston. During a T4F at Greene C.F. 10/20/2012