For many individuals impacted by incarceration, the day of release can present a number of obstacles. A lack of resources to obtain housing and transportation continue to be major impediments to successful reentry. Through the generosity of 7-Eleven, Inc., TEEM will now offer a scholarship program to help alleviate these barriers.
The initiative came to fruition after conversations between TEEM’s Executive Director Kris Steele and Patrick Raglow, Executive Director of Catholic Charities. A long-term supporter of TEEM’s mission, Raglow inquired how his organization could continue their partnership with the nonprofit. After accessing the primary needs of TEEM’s participants, the idea for a scholarship fund was born.
“The scholarship fund will help by rewarding responsible behavior,” Director Kris Steele said. “It will be a scholarship program, not a loan. Resources in the account will match participant funds up to $500.”
The scholarship fund materialized on Monday, January 5, 2015, when an inconspicuous letter was received in TEEM’s mail. Addressed to TEEM from 7-Eleven Stores was a check for $100,000 and a letter filled with congratulatory remarks on the start of a transportation and housing initiative. This generous contribution will provide assistance to 200 participants throughout the coming year.
As TEEM moves into 2015, the nonprofit continues its mission of changing the face of incarceration. In the process, TEEM continues to dream out loud and is thankful to work with community partners committed to providing a new beginning and a brighter future.