All posts by Mark L Baynard, Author

Mark L Baynard is an author, youth advocate, and a true success story. He overcame a past of crime, drugs, and prison by now making a difference in his community. Marks was raised in a Housing Project in Wilmington, Delaware, along with his siblings, by his single Mother. He also visited his dad and other siblings in Alabama each year. His mother was a very hard worker who worked two low-paying jobs to raise her five children. His mother raised him to be respectful to others. During his teenage years, Mark began searching for meaning in his life. Having low self-esteem, he started experimenting with marijuana, alcohol and other drugs. This was just the beginning of more problems to come. Mark eventually started selling drugs and living the lifestyle that goes along with it. Due to the choices that he made, Mark ended up going to prison for drugs. Mark was released from prison after serving a two-year sentence. He returned to selling drugs and making unwise choices. Within a year, Mark was back in prison for drugs. He ended up serving thirteen years before being released. While serving time, Mark started accepting responsibility for his actions and began addressing his personal issues. Once he was released in 2004, he moved to Montgomery, Alabama with family. He eventually met a young lady whom he married. They now share a ten-year-old daughter together. Mark also has a twenty-four-year-old daughter prior to his marriage. Mark decided to further his education by enrolling in Ashford University where he earned his Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education in 2012. He then went on to earn a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama in 2014. In 2015, Mark released his first book titled “100 Years: A Journey to End a Vicious Cycle.” In his book, Mark shares the true story of how his family “collectively” wasted more than one hundred years in prison. He also shares some of the many challenges that he has overcome after being released from prison. Mark encourages others to join in the journey to end the cycle of crime and prison in the community. Later that year, Mark released his second book “These Are Your Flowers.” This book highlights the importance of letting our loved ones know how much they mean to us while they are alive. Mark went on to pursue a Master's Degree in Public Administration at Troy University. He has since transferred to Auburn University at Montgomery in 2015. In August of 2016, Mark released the book “100 Years II: Truth Be Told.” In his book, Mark addresses issues such as black-on-black crime, police brutality, as well as the identity crisis of African Americans. All of Mark’s books are available on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00TLXK5L6 In 2017, Mark earned a Master’s Degree in Justice and Public Safety from Auburn University at Montgomery. Mark plans to use his education accompanied with his personal experiences to help others. Mark is a living example that anything is possible. Mark founded “U Can” (Universal Community Advocacy Network) Community Organization, where he works with at-risk youth and has plans to work with adults in the future. Mark’s purpose is to make a difference in the lives of the individuals he serves. His goal is to decrease the high recidivism rate among both juvenile and adult offenders. Mark may be contacted by email at ucan.community@yahoo.com

A Hard Lesson!

There are many lessons that life has to offer us. We will learn some of life’s lessons the easy way while other lessons we will learn the hard way. This story is my personal story of how I learned the hard way. I am not making any excuses for my actions. I am only telling my story. When I was a teenager, I suffered from low self-esteem.  I think I can attribute that to how I viewed being poor living while living with my single parent mother. I got teased by others about the clothes that I wore. Sometimes my mother couldn’t afford to buy my siblings and I new clothes for school. This led me to believe that I didn’t have value as an individual. When a person doesn’t values themselves, they become more likely to put their life in dangerous situations. That is exactly what I did, I put my own life in danger. I didn’t think that I was smart. (Since I wasn’t smart there was no need for me to apply myself in school). That was my way of thinking during that time. I think that I allowed those thoughts to get the best of me over time.I later got involved with the lifestyle of drugs and street life. I initially only desired to make money in order to buy things such as clothes and sneakers. I also wanted to have a little money in my pocket to use when I needed it. I wasn’t thinking about buying cars, jewelry, or any of the other things that I later acquired. The reality is that there are consequences in life for the decisions that we make. I now understand this. Due to the lifestyle that I lived, I found myself in some very dangerous situations. There were a number of others that warned me of the dangers of the street lifestyle. I heard them say things like “you are going to end up dead or in prison.” I knew of the many potential dangers that exists in that lifestyle but I felt that my choices were limited . I believed some of the many lies that I told myself about not being able to make a living doing anything else.

Being a stubborn individual, at that time, I had to learn the hard way. Despite many other people who’ve warned me of the life that I lived, I chose not to listen. I could hear the words of others but I wasn’t prepare to step out and make any changes in my life. Well, I eventually met my fate of a long prison sentence. Initially, I became angry at the world. I took some of my frustrations out on others. I got into a number of fights and continued to find myself getting into trouble. I eventually got to the point to where I decided to take responsibility for my actions. I didn’t want to appear to be a bad person. I did want to make better decisions concerning my life. As time went on, I was finally released from prison and given the opportunity to make the best of the rest of my life. I took full advantage of that opportunity. I know what it is like to be locked away for a long time and not having any control over my life. I didn’t want that to be the summary of my life. Once I got released, I soon met a very beautiful young lady. We shared a number of ideas, beliefs, and goals in life. I was honest with her about my past.  She was very understanding and was supportive of the changes I was making. We then got married and we now share an eight year old daughter together. I have been out of prison for ten years now. I have been working with troubled youth for eight of those years. I went to college and earned an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. I then went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. I am currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. There is a lot of work that I still have to do. I am very optimistic about my future. My hope is that others will learn from my experiences without having to learn the hard way. You can learn the easy way or the hard way. The choice is up to you!

I would like to hear from others concerning this story. I would like to write post which are geared towards helping others make more responsible decisions in life.  I look forward to hearing from others. I thank everyone, in advance, for your support!

Good Morning Everyone!

Good morning everyone! I just wanted to start my day by greeting and reminding others that it is a blessing to be alive today. There are others who may have passed on to the other side of life. For some reason we were allowed to continue on this journey. I am thankful to be among the living and have the opportunity to improve my life. Having made a number of mistakes in my past, I am able to appreciate each day and try to live it to the fullest. I have been out of prison for ten years but I continue to appreciate these luxuries. I enjoy simple things such as going to my refrigerator whenever I get ready and not being told when to eat, sleep, and everything else. Freedom is a privilege that comes with being responsible for the choices that we make. Part of taking responsibility for my past was to make positive changes in my life. I have been on a mission to work with our troubled teenagers and assist them in making better choices concerning their life. I love to see the spark in their eyes as they slowly attempt to buy into the idea of making better decisions. Well, I am going to take the time to enjoy as much of this day as I can. None of us knows when it will be our last. I hope that everyone will continue to take the very best of care of yourselves and enjoy this day!

Suggestions Blog!

Suggestions Blogs

Journey100years is a new blog looking to assist teenagers as well as adults. There is a high recidivism rate for both juveniles as well as adult offenders. There are a high percentage of juvenile offenders that ends up within an adult facility. Mark Baynard established journey100years in order to address a number of issues. Mark has a wealth of personal experiences of making poor decisions. He is now looking to offer alternatives during those challenges. Mark is open to advice or suggestions on how to successfully reach out to these individuals in need.