Cha-Chi Simmons is a native of Lafayette, Louisiana. He is also a formerly incarcerated person who endured a lengthy prison sentence as well as difficult parole. He has never forgotten the mental, physical, and spiritual strength that he had to acquire to survive the trepidation of incarceration. From this strength he has been able to keep a promise to himself, his mom, and his God to do his part in halting mass incarceration. He is a community activist who currently sits on the Community Relations Committee with LPD, where he offers advice on how to approach certain situations in underserved communities. He often goes back into prisons to empower and instruct those still in confinement of how he turned his weaknesses into strengths, mistakes into lessons, and lessons into success. He is a college welding instructor as well as a college student, with goals to become a life coach and counselor. Cha-Chi is also a certified personal trainer whose passion for health and fitness began in prison as a method of survival. Now, he’s a successful owner of Correxercise, a health and fitness company that is geared towards self-preservation and longevity.
Darrin Campbell, Co-Writer
Darrin Campbell was born and raised in the piney woods of Sabine Parish in northern Louisiana. After insisting throughout his undergrad at Northwestern State University that he never wanted to be a teacher, he fell in love with the profession in the fall of 2003 as he taught his first classes. In his career, Darrin has been a university English instructor, an ESL instructor, a football coach, a karate instructor in a program for at-risk children, and finally an Adult Education instructor. Throughout his career, his main focus was to find a home in education, a place where he felt that he truly made a difference. That home was found at SLCC Acadia in Crowley, where he met Cha-Chi Simmons and Krystal Chevis, who have become two of his closest friends. Together with Cha-Chi, he has worked tirelessly to save everyone that has come through his classroom doors. He was awarded Adult Education Teacher of the Year in 2019 for his efforts. At home, Darrin’s interests include writing, reading, studying philosophy and psychology (as he says, teachers work with the brain, might as well know how it works), martial arts, and having fun with his beautiful wife and daughter.