Education Not Incarceration, Recipient

Education Not Incarceration recently unveiled a new logo, so its president was glad to receive a one by one grant to purchase promotional materials for nonprofits, including an outdoor sail sign and a table throw and runner kit. While the organization began with a mission to help those who had been incarcerated not reoffend, organizers soon realized any adult could benefit from education, support and mentorship as they move toward a more positive, productive lifestyle. “Our participants learn that we all have the same challenges, whether you were incarcerated or make a six-figure income,” said Teresa Gross, president of Education Not Incarceration. “In my previous role as a teacher and now as a counselor, too often I worked with students and clients struggling with mental health, relationships, families and more. Now we have the programs created to support those individuals and help move them forward.” Promotional materials for nonprofits promote broader missionThree people sitting at a table covered with a branded table cover. Education Not Incarceration began a few years ago but had to pause during the pandemic. Then it had to move to a new building, which it is still renovating as funds allow. While its goal is to have all eight programs running at the same time, it only has space to offer one at a time. The programs meet weekly and run for several weeks. They help participants with everything from healthy relationships and positive social skills to budgeting, financing, housing and insurance. The organization plans to use the signage and table throw kit at community events to spread the word about its mission and raise funds. Education Not Incarceration also finds advantages from shared testimonials and word-of-mouth marketing as more participants benefit from its programs and improve their lives. Former participant creates new program Gross said after a reluctant start at Education Not Incarceration, one participant benefited so much from the programs, he wanted to help others by creating a new one. He said meditation has changed his life, so he now leads a new group that meets weekly. “He wanted to drop out after starting the first program with us,” Gross said. “But I encouraged him to stick it out and because he did, his life started to transform. He developed a good relationship with his son. He got a better vehicle and an apartment. He continues to work on himself and has better awareness of the people he has hurt in his life. Our programs have given him the confidence to want to help others.”

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