Tuesday, February 26, 2013



Fashion Model, Teen Speaker, Parent/Teen Coach, Youth Mentor. Desiree Lee is an Ex- Felon, who now shares her prison experience and hard-ships as an Ex-Felon with our youth, in hopes of showing them the reflections of making careless decisions. Currently, pursuing her Bachelors of Science degree in Business Accountancy from Atlanta Metropolitan College in Atlanta, Georgia; Desiree’ is a Youth Mentor with The Adventist Youth Society at West End SDA Community Center.
Prior to studying Accountancy of Business, Desiree was an honor student at Shiloh High School in Gwinnett County, a basketball athlete with a promising future in the WNBA ahead of her. That all quickly changed when she was charged with 11 Counts of Armed Robbery and 5 Counts of Aggravated Assault. With 110 years faced against her, an Inmate in State Prison of Georgia. Like many teens, Desiree’ struggled with communicating effectively with her parents, peer-pressure, insecurities, depression and faced with bullying. Upon her release in 2006, she reflected on how she can share her story in positive way that it will impact the lives of our youth.
Desiree’ has spoken at various youth organizations including, Martin Luther King High School, in Decatur, Georgia. By using herself as a visual aid, it has proven to be a resourceful tool that helps students retain the reflection of heading down a destructive path. With an emphasis on the importance of decision making and cultivating students’visions, she reveals her experiences in prison, and life after prison. By enriching students with effective decision making tools, develop respectful relationships with their parents, teachers, and authority. Her story enables them to re-experience life as an inmate and become more aware of their opportunities and working towards future success. She believes that in working directly with the community, together we can reduce the rising numbers of our youth in jails/prisons.

Through her journey of self-discovery through God, she is now not only certified, but she passionate about helping our youth un-leash their inner Gifts. Desiree’s seeks to help each student find hope in the midst of challenging pressures and pull through adversity as a stronger, more complete person during high school and in life. She focuses on the strengths of each student to highlight strategies for growth and success. Discussions with a mentor is often a way for a student to recognize how his or her own thought patterns affect emotions and actions in both positive and negative ways. It can also be a way to resolve personal issues without the stigma of judgment and criticism. Desiree also views motivational speaking as a way to facilitate change, but ultimately change comes from within the student. Desiree’s commitment is to meet students where they are, to help motivate and empower them to achieve their ultimate life goals and connect with their own personal passion. “10 minutes of thinking, could save you 10 years out of prison.” –Desiree’ Lee

3375  Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
 DESIREE  I am a California Native, raised in Georgia by my mother, and I am the oldest of 2.

3375  You were not a product of your environment. What started your illegal actions and at what age was your first crime?
DESIREE  My mother did her best raising 2 kids by herself. I Went to the best schools, Church every Sunday, and starter of the basketball team. At the age of 17, surrounded with peer pressure to fit in with the popular crowd, I was on a mission to be the baddest chick in high school. I began to skip school, smoke weed, and drink alcohol. It was soon after making poor decisions that I ended in prison for 11 counts of Armed Robbery and 5 counts of Aggravated Assault.

3375  What life changing events did you miss while being incarcerated?
DESIREE  While I was incarcerated, I missed out on the opportunity to go to college, landing a career as an international translator, missed my brother's high school graduation, and my freedom of choice. It was in prison that I was forced to grow up. My friends quickly forgot about me in the first few months. It didn't feel good being in an unknown environment alone.

3375  Sometimes we all wish we had do overs, give just two examples please.:
DESIREE  If I had a do over, Oh what a joyous day that would be. :) I would definitely thought out the decisions that I was making during high school. If I would have taken just 10 minutes to think before I drove the car to the robberies, those 10 minutes would have saved me 10 years of my life out of prison.

DESIREE  I would have also taken heed to the wisdom, the do's and don'ts, the advice that my parents and extended family shared with me. Listening to the advice of my friends that knew nothing about nothing, influencing me to be a down ass chick, is what landing me in prison. All because I wanted to be cool and accepted by my friends. Its after doing time in prison that I realized that the advice my parents gave me was only to help me secure a more successful future than their own.

3375  They say everything happens for a reason. Why do you think you were placed in the situations of your life?
DESIREE  Yes, everything does happen for a reason. At times the reason or the experience is not only for me to learn from. We often go through situations to encourage others who are about to go through, who are in, or coming out of the same struggles we experienced. My story motivates our teens not to make the same mistakes/bad decisions, encourages those who are incarcerated not to make prison the end of their life, and to inspire those who are now ex-felons to not give up the fight for a successful future.

3375  What would you say to a young person trying to fit in with the in crowd?
DESIREE  I would ask them, "Is going to prison to be cool really worth the successful future that I had lost? Going to prison had the opposite effect of fitting in the crowd. That same cool crowd left me in a few months time. Now it is the Ex-Felon Crowd that I fit into, and being an ex-felon is not cool at all. The judgement, negative connotation, the limitations that comes with the title of being an ex-felon is not the kind of cool that any teenager is looking for.

3375  What are you currently focusing your energy on in your life?
DESIREE  I am currently focusing solely on helping our teens with better decision making tools. I am pushing for our community to be more involved in this effort. It's only together that we can help reduce the rising numbers of our youth in prison.

3375  What are your favorite family or solo activities?
 DESIREE  I enjoy going to the park, traveling, family events, and family dinners.

3375  When you hear the word happiness what is the first thing that comes to mind?
DESIREE  To help. Helping those who want to help themselves, and to be in a position to help someone is what brings me happiness.

3375  What was one of your favorite activity of yours as a child?
DESIREE  My favorite activity as a child was playing board games. Guess who board game was the best game ever and is now one of my daughter's favorite games to play.

3375  What is one life lesson you have learned and would like to share with others?
 DESIREE  Experience is the name that we often give to our mistakes. Take it from me.... A Fool learns from their own mistakes. A wise man learns from the mistakes of others. Learn from those with experience mistakes because it never feels good when you learn from your own.

3375  How can others best give you support?
DESIREE  You can always visit me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dleemotivation There you can donate, volunteer and help support the mission to reduce the rising numbers of our youth in prison.

3375  Who are some of your favorite motivational speakers and why are they your favorite?
DESIREE  Dr. Wayne Dyer is one of many great speakers. It's not only how delivers his message but his passion and love that shows through his messages. Joel Osteen is another speaker that I admire. He has an awesome gift and love that he shares unconditionally through his teachings of the Bible.

3375  Any shout outs?

DESIREE  Thank you 3375 Magazine Interviews for this opportunity and helping my story reach as many teens as possible. I would like to shout out... My father, Marvin Lee and Mother, Melody Lee for their undying support and love. My brother Jonathan Lee for pushing me into my purpose. To my friends and supporters thank you all for believing in the mission.

Desiree Lee Is An Ex-Felon (Inspirational Story)


  1. Desiree Lee is a great personality. I appreciate her and I liked the way she expresses the reality of life in a very practical way. I admire her a lot. Thanks for posting her interview.

    Best Regards,
    Mark Duin
    Motivational Speaker

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