“Persevere Now” Helps Inmates, Formerly Incarcerated to Change Lives

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The state of Arizona has the eighth largest prison population in the country. According to the latest data, Arizona’s prison population has increased by 507% since the 1980s. Incredibly, the United States ranks as No. 1 in the world for the highest number of incarcerations. Leaving prison and trying to re-establish life in the community comes with an incredible set of challenges, especially in today’s tough economic climate. One of these challenges is finding employment, which can seem impossible if you are not educated on the free resources available to assist you.

Persevere Now is a non-profit that empowers inmates and the formerly incarcerated to change their lives, through technology education, life skills development, employment, and wraparound services. Stephanie Morales, Program Manager of Persevere Now, and Graduate Jessica Dickerson joined us to discuss more on this topic.

“We offer a 12 month coding boot camp. When our students graduate they’re full web developers and then after graduation we case manage them for 12 months, provide employment services to connect them with tech companies as well as, connections to mental behavioral health care, housing recommendations,” just to name a few, said Morales.

Persevere Graduate: Jessica Dickerson

Former graduate from Persevere shares her experience during and after the program.

“It was amazing knowing I had a future. When you are incarcerated, I can’t really put into words exactly how devastating it is to know that your future is limited. That you will always be judged,” said Dickerson.

The program provided hope for her Dickerson and gave her an incentive as to where to move on forward with her life post jail time.

“I had the potential to make enough money to support my child and to be a good contributing member of society. It was life changing,” said Dickerson. “Even while I was still inside, it changed everything about my life.”

Stephanie Morales, Jessica Dickerson

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