NaZyiah is freshman in high school who was referred to The PROGRAM’s Project Future Focus Youth Reentry Program by her School Counselor. At the time of her referral, NaZyiah was struggling with recent expulsion, loss of motivation to complete school assignments at home and low school grades. NaZyiah self-set goals to improve her grades by completing assignments and exams. She worked hard and, within two weeks, NaZyiah was on her path to being promoted to the next grade level. She successfully got caught up on all her assignments and was a few points shy of earning Honor Roll. NaZyiah is a bright young lady, and her smile lights up the room. She has proven that whatever she puts her mind to, she can achieve.
Sydney Donohue is a single mother who was motivated to be the best mother she could be. As a result, Ms. Donohue successfully completed The PROGRAM’s Family Reunification program in March 2022. Ms. Donohue has had to overcome certain challenges and her determination continues to shine through. Ms. Donohue works many over time hours to provide for her family, but, when it came to her participation in the Family Reunification program, she was consistent and committed. Ms. Donohue was early to each session and her participation in discussions was outstanding. Ms. Donohue shared that the Family Reunification program afforded her the opportunity to “open up in a way that [she] had not in a while.” Ms. Donohue spoke often about her son and how much she desired to be everything he needed her to be. She spoke often about some of the sacrifices she has had to make not only for his protection, but also so that he may flourish in his environment. Ms. Donohue was always a pleasure to meet with and her grasp of the concepts was impressive. She is the first client to complete the Family Reunification program in the first quarter of 2022 and we celebrate her success and wish her well in her future endeavors.
Great people. Great mentorship program. One of them is the reason I have a job now. When I kept getting “No” to my applications, he brought me into a hiring event at The Program office. I’ve been working this job for 5 months now. I started as a seasonal worker and just got converted over to full time.
Leaving prison after 24 years was like landing in another country with nothing but the clothes on your back…minus the clothes on your back. I was terrified that I’d forever be judged based upon my worst moment; that I’d never be accepted back into society. It felt like I had a tattoo on my forehead that read “Excon.” Out of fear, caution, and a bit of hope, I enrolled in The Program. In retrospect, it was one of the best decisions I made. I was teamed up with a Mentor, Keith, who has helped me in so many ways. Keith listens to my concerns, lends invaluable advice / guidance, and connects me to resources I didn’t know existed. I’ve been out for nine (9) months now, and am doing great. I am employed, compliant with all the rules of parole, and have a strong support system. If not for The Program, I may have fallen into the cycle of recidivism that sends 75% of offenders back to prison. Because of The Program, I am proof that successful reentry is possible with adequate resources.
The Program was there for me and supported me through the hardships of coming home and starting over. It didn’t matter what the issue was, there was always someone to help me. I am forever grateful that I took this opportunity and attribute a lot of my success to the people that helped me get here. I have a good job, a wonderful relationship with my children and have made a friend, my mentor. The Program is a commitment and you have to be dedicated to the process and trust your advisors. It can be hard, but if you put your all into it…awesome things happen!!
Success is…it works if you work it. The Program has given me the necessary tools needed for me to set a foundation of productive living. Upon arriving, I was greeted with arms of motivation. They set me up with structure – generating, first, an income. Next was budgeting this income to become independent. Second was becoming financially informed. Understanding the core of budgeting, for a productive living, they assisted me in fixing my credit and organizing paying my debt. The Program paid six months of my rent to help me reorganize my life, giving me the room I needed to catch up on my past debt due to incarceration. I was even able to reconnect with my daughter and provide financial support to her. The Program gave me the support I needed to be productive in all aspects of life. Upon completion of The Program, I had saved up over $3,000 and paid a great portion of my debt. I was able to get 3 major credit cards and purchase a car. I had a chance to structure my life and also my business.
This is hardly a “success story” according to the conventional sense, but from all I’ve seen and “DONE” it’s a success to me. It’s the good in the world like “The Program”, that causes people like me to reconsider their choices. Without good people and programs like yours I’d be in a much darker place at this juncture. Thanks to you and so many others, I was able to start a small business, even with my background, and it is doing well. I believe that the type of good that’s shown through programs and people like you changes the world for the better and gives us all a reason to hope!! Thank you!
Life can be hard. It’s all about the choices we make. Sometimes we make bad choices, and sometimes we have to deal with the consequences. I used to be a lot of things, but my God meets me where I’m at. The Program believed in me when no one else did, and for that, my family and I are forever grateful. Thank you so much for your love and support.
I am not from PA and I have no family here. I was employed but not making enough money. When I first came to The Program, I felt it was a great opportunity to finally be able to get my finances back on track. The Program helped me keep a roof over my head and obtain financial freedom while being able to get back on track and out of my living conditions at the time. I’m now ahead on my student loans and gained a rainy day fund. The financial classes were helpful. I was taught a lot about banking and credit improvements. I was also taught the road to being financially stable has to begin with taking a hard look at your spending habits and that has helped me tremendously. The staff has been very supportive and always been resourceful, especially my case manager.
The Program has helped me develop avenues essential to my successful re-entry into society. They have done this by working with my Parole Agent for referral purposes, thereby granting me my mentor, who through his own area of expertise, knowledge and resources has provided opportunities that have helped me sustain healthy relationships as well as helped me create goals imperative to success. The Program has helped me develop a savings plan through their housing assistance program as well as provided me with financial knowledge with their Finance class.