A Father Decided to Change When He Was in Prison on His Son’s Birthday. Now His Nonprofit Helps Formerly Incarcerated Applicants Land 6-Figure Jobs.
Hosman realized he had to change when he found himself in prison on his youngest son’s birthday. “I wanted to be out and with my family,” Hosman tells Entrepreneur. “I don’t know why one particular birthday and one particular event sort of struck me more profoundly, but it did.”
Hosman initiated the long process of getting clean and sober and focused on building up his dignity and self-respect along the way. Part of that meant lending other people in recovery a hand: helping them detox, find a place to live, get their job back or start their own company.
“As I was surrounding myself with more and more of these people and trying to help them on a one-on-one basis, I realized that the challenges everybody faced were almost the same set of challenges,” Hosman says. “So I [had] this idea that almost anybody could get back on top if they just had this recipe of help. And if they would accept that help, and it was given really well, anybody could be successful.”
That belief would give rise to Persevere, a Memphis-based organization serving hundreds of justice-involved and at-risk individuals in community and correctional settings in six states across the U.S. Persevere offers a one-year programming course for people in prison so they can work as full-stack developers upon their release.
“If you can code, people don’t care a whole lot else about you.”
To date, Persevere has given more than 400 prisoners the opportunity to learn how to code and then helped many of them secure employment after their release at companies including Amazon, Indeed and Forbes, where some of them earn upwards of $125,000 per year.