True Stories, Keynote Speaker to Theme “Resilience”
The road to recovery or redemption is often long and arduous, calling on our capacities for resilience and adaptability in a world wrought with physical, mental, and emotional challenges. Every choice we make creates a chain reaction, with the power to influence infinite outcomes in all directions.
For Trevor Walraven, the choice to kill an innocent man at the age of 14 changed his life, and the lives he impacted, forever. Tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole, Walraven spent almost 18 years incarcerated. While grappling with everyday remorse, he went in a new direction, earning degrees and working various jobs while investing in his community.
Released in 2016 by Oregon’s Second Look statue, Walraven now spends his time as the Director of Public Education and Outreach for the Oregon Justice Resource Center’s Youth Justice Project, where he advocates for incarcerated youth who’ve made errors in judgement much like his own, and who he believes are vastly capable of change and redemption. Walraven is currently fighting to change Oregon state legislation that allows youth to be sentenced to life without parole.
Walraven will present as a keynote speaker at our next Off the Record Open Mic night, where community members are welcome to share true stories to the theme of Resilience.
Each and every story of resilience is different, which is why all stories are welcome, so long as they are true and can be told in under 10 minutes. To pre-register to tell a story, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Slots will also be available at the time of the event.
Off the Record: Resilience happens Thursday, November 21, from 7 to 9 p.m. at 4Spirits Distillery in Corvallis. Sign-up starts at 6:45. Suggested donation of $5. All proceeds go to journalists at Corvallis’ only locally-owned, independent newspaper, The Corvallis Advocate.
By Stevie Beisswanger