Persevere Turns Justice-Involved to Opportunity-Involved in Georgia
March 17, 2023 Atlanta, GA
In March of 2022, twelve men in Atlanta’s Metro Correctional facility began a journey and made a sacrifice. On the inside you get a minimal paycheck for jobs you work. But if you sign up for an educational program, that check is sometimes cut in half. But these twelve men had a vision for the future and were willing to sacrifice now, for a better future. They came to class for a year–5days a week, 6 hours a day–and dedicated themselves to learning a new skill. Mixed in with the coding were life skills, career development and mindfulness. It wasn’t always easy, but day in and day out they put in the work.
The graduation was filled with optimism from both the graduates and the community. In addition to Persevere and Correctional staff, fourteen members of the community attended including the Atlanta Mayors office, State Representative Park Cannon, Jonesboro Mayor Dr. Donya Sartor and other community organizations and partners including Chick-fil-A, CEO Works, Microsoft, IBM and more.
Program Manager Julie Landers said, “The gentlemen in this cohort worked very hard to accomplish this and more: they were the first class to receive mindfulness training and mock interview training. They finished up strong, with increased confidence, awareness, and skills. They are eager to get to work!
During their cohort the class created a mission statement and vision for what they would accomplish and what their future would look like:
We enter into the world as professionals, setting the new precedent for what people can achieve. As a team, we will maturely pursue success with dedication, enthusiasm, respect and responsibility in order to accomplish our goals. We will pursue excellence by showing that whatever obstacles we face in life…we will Persevere!
The dedication of our participants is amazing. But their next challenge comes as they transition back to life on the outside. They will face many barriers. Our care teams will help them traverse these barriers, but we can’t do this alone. Our program is only as strong as our community of partners and supporters. Join our fair chance movement because everyone deserves a fair chance to thrive.
Cheers and congrats to the Georgia Metro Cohort of 2022/2023! We can’t wait to see what you accomplish.