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Damon West

with moderator Joyce Mikal-Flynn

Recorded July 27th, 2020

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Damon West with moderator Joyce Mikal-Flynn, July 27, 2020

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Damon West was sentenced to 65 years in a Texas prison after being convicted of drug-related crimes after a lifetime of addiction. His memoir The Change Agent: How a Former College QB Sentenced to Life in Prison Transformed His World tells the harrowing and heartwarming story of his recovery.

Born a golden boy, West came from a supportive and loving family and was a standout athlete. Underneath this facade was an addict. Sexually abused by a baby sitter while a young boy, from the age 12 on he was using drugs as a high school football star and throughout college, at UNT on an athletic scholarship. While working on Wall Street he was introduced to methamphetamine. Inevitably, he was arrested on drug-related charges. Or, as Damon refers to it, he was not “arrested” so much as he was “rescued.” During his 7-year stint behind bars, he vowed to turn his life around.

Damon West earned an MS in Criminal Justice and works for a law firm in Texas. He regularly speaks to students and athletes about the dangers of drugs and the consequences of bad decisions. His story has been featured both nationally and globally.

His second book, The Coffee Bean, co-authored with best-selling author Jon Gordon, became an instant bestseller.

 

Dr. Mikal-Flynn received a BSN in Nursing from University of San Francisco (1976), a Nurse Practitioner Certificate from University of California, Davis (1981), a MSN at California State University, Sacramento (1994) publishing the thesis: A Phenomenological Investigation of Near Death Event Survivors. In 2007 she completed her Doctor of Education with the dissertation: Transforming Life Crisis: Stories of Metahabilitation After Catastrophic Life Events. She held faculty positions at University of California, Davis and Samuel Merit College.

Since 2005 she has been at California State University, Sacramento in the Division of Health and Human Services. Currently a full professor, she teaches courses in neuroscience and leadership. Due to her research and expertise she created a course: Traumatology: An Introduction to Posttraumatic Growth. (PTG) The course addresses all entities facing trauma; the individual and vicarious trauma survivors as well as communities, focusing on the principles and practical application of PTG. A sought after speaker with over 30 podium presentations at international and national conferences, she lectures about PTG and her unique system of rehabilitation, MetaHabilitation.

In spring of 2021 Dr. Mikal-Flynn has a new book coming out. Continuing her work on trauma and post traumatic growth this book will directly focus on current trauma and how to build resilience and grit and become better as a result of critical events.

Get ready to join Damon in conversation, Monday, July 27.

In the meantime, we invite you to take a moment now to help shape this upcoming conversation:

Check out the list of questions submitted by other registered attendees, and then vote to support any of the ones that match your own interests.

Feel free to add your own question. Then spread the word to make sure others have the chance to help move your question to the top of the shared list.

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    What was the last thing you read or saw that moved you?

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    Was it a difficult or traumatic process to write about your addiction? Was it healing?

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    Do you believe the criminal justice system was an overall positive or negative force in your life?

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    The Coffee Bean offers a lesson that everyone has agency to discover the power inside them to transform their environment. Do you find this message has resonated with your readers?

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    What inspired you to share your story with the world?

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    Who are some of your favorite authors, whether fiction or non-fiction, and have they influenced your writing?