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Born in prison, Polk State Criminal Justice grad inspired to give back to students like her


For Destiny Fairless, life has been less than fair. Born in prison, she has been determined to overcome the impacts of her circumstances. Graduating from Polk State College with her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, it is safe to say that she has accomplished just that.

Fairless will walk the graduation stage on May 2 with Polk State’s 130th class with her two daughters and her mentors onlooking and celebrating just how far she has come.

“It means absolutely everything to be graduating because my whole life I thought this was a path that was unattainable to me,” Fairless said. “I spent most of my life thinking that I wasn’t smart enough to go to school, let alone graduate from college. I’ve not only proven others wrong, but I’ve shown myself what I can do, and I have shown my daughters that they can do anything too.”

Fairless was born in Marion County’s Lowell Correction Center in 1992. Both of her parents were in and out of prison throughout her childhood. She stayed with grandparents, sisters, and friends, moving from school to school and lacking a sense of home or stability, she explained.

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