This all started with a letter I received in the mail. My friend sent me a note from prison and asked if I could look at his cellmate's business plan. I naively decided to figure out a way to do the same favor for thousands of other people in prison. - Kristen Daniel, Founder
Mission & Program At USP Atlanta
Pentorship's mission is to disrupt the cycle of recidivism by improving the educational delivery models of organizations that train the formerly incarcerated for 21st-century work. As a part of our work, we provide free support and programs to locally incarcerated community members. Our program at the US Penitentiary Atlanta is our longest standing community program. We offer our entrepreneurial mindset course, SquareUp, every Thursday morning inside of the prison.
The course covers topics such as self-discovery, entrepreneurship mindset, critical thinking, problem solving and business model generation. It is a workforce readiness class in which inmates receive course completion credit on their "prison transcript." Students walk away prepared with the mindset, self-agency, and professional frameworks that can be used in a multitude of new age work opportunities, whether it's for an employer or for self-employment.
Volunteer advisoR ROle
This is a virtual position for community members who want to help evaluate student projects during the final portion of the SquareUp class at the US Penitentiary Atlanta. Volunteer advisors are typically busy working professionals from around the country who work together to bring our course to life. Our students work together in teams to develop a product or service. Once the student teams have submitted their assignment to Pentorship, our Volunteer Advisors work in virtual groups to review these assignments. They are given 7-10 days to complete a feedback form for their assigned student team. Our team will then compile all the feedback and present it to each of the student teams for their review.
Key Dates for Spring 2017
-May 12: Application Deadline
-June 12: Last Day To Complete Online Training
-June 19-26: Volunteer Evaluation & Feedback Period
-June 29: Students Receive Volunteer Feedback
-July 7: Students Receive Course Certificate
This volunteer role best suits working professionals and graduate level students who have the discipline to complete meaningful and impactful volunteer work virtually. These are tech savvy people who have time to complete the self-paced online training modules and actively monitor emails and notifications from Pentorship. Geographic location is unlimited.
If you prefer a more hands-on volunteer experience, we have a few openings for Atlanta-based volunteers. Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Q: How many hours should I expect to commit to this?
- A: The average time commitment for this role is 5 hours.
- Q: Do volunteers communicate directly with the inmates enrolled in Pentorship's course?
- A: No. We compile the assignments from the our students and make them available for you to view online. Once you've done your part. We manually bring your work into the prison to present to the class.
- Q: How many students have completed this course?
- A: For this particular program, we've had more than 70 students complete the course over the past three years. There are more than 200 additional students who have completed the course through some of our partnerships.
- Q: How do you measure the success of each class?
- A: Since our students are a very transient group, they are required to complete pre and post-assessments and submit graded material. This allows us to measure learning immediately rather than relying on them to reach out to us once they return home from prison.
- Q: Who pays for this program?
- A: Pentorship uses community donations to cover the cost of student materials and volunteer operations for the program at USP Atlanta.
- Q: Can students receive help from Pentorship once they get home?
- A: Yes. Any former student of ours can reach out to us for help and support with their transition home.
- Q: Is Pentorship a for-profit or a non-profit company ?
- A: The short answer is, both. Pentorship runs this program through our non-profit arm. We use our other business create to learning solutions for other companies that support returning citizens/