Meet Shadeed Wallace-Stepter of FirstWatch

My name is Shadeed Wallace-Stepter, but I mostly go by “Sha” (which is pronounced Shah). I’m 36 years old and I was born in San Francisco, the middle child of four brothers. In 2018, I was granted a commutation by Governor Jerry Brown and was able to return home after serving a 27 year-to-life prison sentence for assault with a firearm and attempted robbery, a crime I committed my junior year in high school.

The person I was when I committed my crime is a far cry from who I am now. Where in the past I was a self-absorbed, manipulator who found my worth in material possessions, today I am a self-aware, compassionate adult who finds value through being of service. I was incarcerated for nearly two decades now and since 2009, I was housed at San Quentin.

During my time at San Quentin, I had the opportunity to complete a number of self-help programs, and also earned an A.A. degree. While pursuing my education I was fortunate enough to study business and during this time, I found my passion, which is entrepreneurship – actually, I think I’m obsessed with entrepreneurship.

Since 2011, I worked with San Quentin Television as a content developer where I’ve produced a number of audio and video projects. In 2016, I curated TED x San Quentin, where I also gave a talk; led as the Chairman of the Society of Professional Journalist – San Quentin; was the Lead Facilitator of the First Step Curriculum, a self-help program that deals primarily with childhood trauma; and was also the Vice Chairman of Kid CAT, a self-help program that serves unique needs of men who committed their crimes as juveniles and received adult life sentences.