Susanne Manning has lived in Orlando, Florida for 25 years. She made a past mistake and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
“From the minute I walked through the gate in prison,” says Susanne, “everybody kept telling me, ‘You don’t look like you belong here.’” Manning has silver hair, friendly eyes, and a kind smile, but she affirms that she did belong in prison. “I broke the law.”
While paying her debt, Susanne had to adjust. Things were different. “One of the things I missed the most was cooking and baking,” she says. But when she returned, she found her anchor. “When I started baking again, it made me feel like I was really home.”
Susanne often shares the story about her oldest niece—she tears up when she tells it. “Whenever I scold my niece, she puts her hand on her hip and says, ‘Can’t I have a second chance?’ I think everyone deserves a second chance.”
Susanne has paid her debt. She has since returned to Orlando, where she has rebuilt her life. She currently bakes and hopes to open a bakery where she can help other returning citizens find their own moorings.