Alice Marie Johnson is paying it forward and visited a group of teenage girls at the Dallas County’s Letot Residential Treatment Center to share her story of redemption after serving 21 years in federal prison.
On Wednesday, the 63-year-old grandmother was welcomed to the facility like a superstar when she received rousing applause from the 30-plus young ladies in attendance, the Dallas News reports.
“You’ve probably heard a lot of motivational speeches,” Johnson said. “But I doubt you’ve ever seen a miracle right in front of you. I’m that miracle.”
Johnson served 21 years of a life sentence after being convicted on charges of conspiracy to possess cocaine and attempted possession of cocaine. Johnson, a first-time non-violent drug offender, was pardoned a week after Kim Kardashian pleaded her case with Donald Trump.
Johnson shared her experience as a “telephone mule” meaning she facilitated messages between drug distributors and sellers.
“I never saw those drugs, but I was called a drug dealer because I’m in a conspiracy,” Johnson told the girls. “That’s what I’m telling you…you have to be careful about the company that you keep.”
Of course the girls wanted to hear all about the famous reality TV star who helped secure Johnson’s freedom. Johnson said a lawyer named Shawn Holley contacted her in prison and told her that “a very rich and famous woman” had an interest in helping her.
“My daughter told me, ‘What if it’s Kim Kardashian?’ I said, ‘Kim what?’ She said, ‘Kim Kardashian.’ I said, ‘Who is that?’”
Johnson said she ultimately spoke with the reality star.
“It was really an amazing conversation,” Johnson said. “She’s just like y’all. She is so down-to-earth, totally down-to-earth.”
“Did you think that I ever dreamed that I would have a national platform where I’d be able to speak to wonderful women like yourself?” said Johnson.
Johnson encouraged the girls to keep their dreams alive in the midst of their troubles.
“You can be locked up,” she said, “but your dreams can’t be locked up.”