Eight justice-involved graduates rewrite their stories with help from community partnership

Published: 12/30/2022, 2:30 PM
Edited: 01/06/2023, 3:54 PM
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(TULSA, Okla.) A group of newly certified professionals, their loved ones, and local supporters gathered for a graduation at Legacy Plaza East on Thursday. 

It was the second graduation of ProsperOK’s new Educational Development Program, in partnership with Tulsa Tech, Just The Beginning, Inc., and Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO).  

The following graduates completed programs ranging from two to four months: 

Amy Alvarez – CNC Machining

Brandon Baldwin – CNC Machining

Sheila Brewer – CNC Machining

Billy Bills – Welding

Luke Carouthers – Welding

Grant Jackson IV – Welding

Deontey Shaw – Welding

Theresa Watkins – CDL-B 

“I wanted to thank all of you because I never thought I would do anything like this,” graduate Sheila Brewer said. 

During the event, graduates spoke of already securing jobs in their profession upwards of $20/hour. 

The program is available to men and women who have prior or current justice-involvement. 

Participants receive free tuition to Tulsa Tech, a weekly $250 opportunity grant while attending school, coaching and other support from Just The Beginning, Inc, and assistance with job placement from CEO. 

“I love to see people excel, and reach purpose, and fulfill that purpose,” Just The Beginning, Inc. Founder and President Jenice Jones said. “We are excited for our collaboration because if we don’t do things together, it won’t get done. And so thank you for being a part of that.” 

CEO Business Account Manager and ProsperOK Program Manager Janet Lundstrom were also in attendance at Thursday’s event. 

For more information on the Educational Development Program, email jjones@justthebeginning.org 

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