ADVANCE: Take Your Next Step with Mike Acker

Ep 15 | Resilience from Prison to PhD with Dr Stanley Andrisse [ Season 2 ]

June 06, 2022 Mike Acker
ADVANCE: Take Your Next Step with Mike Acker
Ep 15 | Resilience from Prison to PhD with Dr Stanley Andrisse [ Season 2 ]
Show Notes

If you think you know enough about the power of resilience, you probably haven’t heard Stanley Andrisse’s story. After a series of wrong choices early on in life got him into prison – for 10 years, he knew it would take nothing but strong will, determination, and untethered resilience to succeed in his dream of becoming a doctor. Fast forward to today, Stanley is a Ph.D. and MBA holder, a doctor, author, and entrepreneur, who aims to change the lives of others with criminal convictions “through advocacy, mentoring, and policy change”.

Join Mike and Stanley in this episode as the latter explains his story of triumph through tough times and the indomitable power of resilience, hard work, and faith in transforming your life. Labeled a criminal at just 14 for selling drugs, Stanley explains the challenges he faced in keeping his dreams alive amid all the negative opinions people surrounded him with.


How do you understand your inner strength?


Do not let outside interference define or determine you. Do not let another person’s opinion harm you. Be a source of good.

How did Stanley manage to get his Ph.D. despite being in prison?


Stanley read research articles and papers day in and out in prison, dreaming and working hard to become a doctor. He then put together applications for education in multiple colleges; all except one were rejected. St. Louis University was the only university that accepted his admission after being released. He managed to complete his MBA and Ph.D. simultaneously, as the topper in class. He moved on later to Johns Hopkins University, where he became the number one in Endocrinology.

What do you do when the going gets tough?


Lean into your higher power. Hold onto your integrity. Do the right thing even if it brings you harm. Root into good beliefs and faith. Have patience and condition yourself to see multiple outcomes.



“For me, I kind of had plans, A, B, C, D, E, and so forth. Like, if I wasn't going to get A, I was going to be okay. And so I think that's one of the tough things like people having their eyes set on a prize and not getting that is considered a failure. And for me, I had multiple things that I was going towards.”


“For most people that go through incarceration, it's like it just beached you down in terms of psychologically mentally, emotionally, to where you no longer have any feeling of self-worth or self-value or purpose.”