May 21, 2024   |  By Ryan M. Moser

A Journey from the Streets to a Role Model

Growing up in sunny San Diego, Anthony T. excelled in every sport he played: soccer, baseball, surfing, track. Raised by a loving single mom, Anthony worked hard at school but eventually ended up following the wrong crowd. But sports had taught him integrity and teamwork, traits that would help him ...

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May 16, 2024   |  By KQED

Prop 47 Has Saved California Millions. These Are the Programs It's Funded

In 1997, Tommy Eugene Lewis III was sentenced to 41 years to life in state prison for attempted murder after he shot and injured another driver. He was 18 years old. Three years ago, at 43, Lewis was released from prison. He’d spent his entire adult life behind bars and ...

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Apr 19, 2024   |  By County News Center

Second Chance Job Fair for People Seeking Reentry Employment

More than 150 people attended an employer seminar and job fair this week for National Second Chance Month. The job fair is designed to help justice-involved individuals reenter the workforce through committed fair chance employers.

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Jan 26, 2024   |  By Voting Access For All

An Inspiring Journey of Advocacy and Recovery

In the journey of recovery, one of the most powerful tenets is the idea of reaching back to help those who are still struggling, forging bonds of unity and selflessness within a community. Terissa M., a member of Voting Access For All Coalition, personifies this philosophy through her remarkable journey.

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Jan 12, 2024   |  By Ryan M. Moser

An Advocacy Fellowship Leads To a Bright Future

One of the main tenets of a recovery program is to reach back and help the person struggling behind you, creating a sense of unity and selflessness that builds a community. After Terissa M. nearly lost her life in a car accident two years ago and suffered a tragic personal ...

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Oct 31, 2023   |  By Emily Montgomery

Chris finds security in earning CDL: “That means everything to me”

It’s been a year of accomplishments for Chris, a former participant at the San Jose office of the Center for Employment Opportunity (CEO). He has not only completed a year of employment post-incarceration, but he also earned his Commercial Drivers License (CDL) this spring. In fact, Chris was the first ...

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Sep 25, 2023   |  By Emily Montegomery

Reading His Way Into Success: Joseph’s CEO Leadership Program Journey

Joseph is a big reader, completing dozens of books a year. He shares that his two favorites are The Winds of War and War and Remembrance by Herman Rouk, historical novels that tell a sweeping story of World War II, but he says he’ll read almost anything. This dedication to ...

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Aug 23, 2023   |  By Emily Montgomery

Turning Passion into Action: How an Advocacy Program Lit Azariah’s Flame

This spring, Azariah performed a prestigious rite of passage: he spoke at the graduation ceremony for a program he’d been a part of called the Advocacy Leadership Committee (ALC). What makes it even more special is that he’d just recently been released from incarceration. “Here I am less than four ...

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Jun 21, 2023   |  By Comstock's Magazine

Graduating Into a New Life

State prison yards may not look much like college quads. But some activists and educators want to bring a piece of the collegiate experience to incarcerated people in California, allowing them to earn degrees and job training behind prison walls — and potentially reducing their likelihood of returning to prison ...

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May 24, 2023

IT Training program provides new opportunities for Allen–and his dog

Allen didn't just have himself to worry about at home—he had Max, his new dog. "He suffers from such bad separation anxiety when I'm gone," Allen said. "Every day I'm going to work, I have a little camera in my living room for Max. I call it my Max cam." ...

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May 16, 2023   |  By Emily Montgomery

With IT training, Jerel invests in a future for his family

After a challenging year, Jerel is thrilled with the change in his luck. "I really can't believe I'm in the position I'm in—that I'm getting paid to learn," he says. Jerel is part of a new advanced training opportunity through the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO). Through this program, CEO ...

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Apr 18, 2023   |  By County News Center

Job Fair Hosted for Justice-Involved People Seeking Employment for Reentry

As part of National Second Chance Month, more than 200 people, many of whom had been previously incarcerated and are now looking for a fair chance to be part of the workforce, attended an employer seminar and job fair.

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Jan 26, 2023   |  By San Diego Union Tribune

Opinion: As a 58-year-old who was in prison for 40 years, I didn’t even know how to use a cellphone

After serving almost four decades in prison, I look at my wonderful life and can’t believe how blessed I am to have a career, a home and a loving fiance. It wasn’t a given, and it took hard work and a commitment to learn that helped me get on a ...

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Jan 26, 2023   |  By San Diego Union Tribune

Opinion: How do we help formerly incarcerated people lead better lives? Digital skills training

When the pandemic took hold in 2020, remote work became a reality for millions of Americans — making digital skills even more necessary for job seekers.

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Jan 26, 2023   |  By San Diego Union Tribune

Opinion: I got out of jail in February. Let me tell you about the job training that changed my life.

Some of my happiest memories are of my days playing baseball in San Diego’s Logan Heights, as the pitcher on my Little League team, the Little Padres, at Memorial Park. My mom loved to watch me and my older brother, who was our catcher.

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Jan 10, 2023   |  By Emily Montgomery

Reentry cash assistance gives Bella stability in changing world

When Bella grew up in Los Angeles, there were payphones everywhere. Then, returning to the city in 2018 after being incarcerated for twelve years, she said it was like she had “stepped into a different world.”

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Nov 14, 2022   |  By Emily Montgomery

Paying forward his opportunities, Ronnie now helps others succeed

Ronnie knows something about hard work. Growing up on a small farm in Yuba County, Calif., Ronnie and his four younger siblings helped care for the family’s chickens and other animals, including milking the cow every morning and evening. “We never went to the store to buy lunch meat,” Ronnie ...

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Oct 26, 2022   |  By Emily Montgomery

Solano health fair provides critical screenings and wellness services

Dozens of people gathered last week for a health fair in Solano County, California. The fair was hosted by the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) and provided CEO participants and other formerly incarcerated individuals in the local community with access to free health screenings, wellness information, and food. Maura Torkildson ...

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Oct 20, 2022   |  By Alexander Mitchell

Karina embraces her path as an advocate for criminal legal system reform

When distractions don’t cloud your eyes, the world is bright, and your road is clear as day. This is the newfound perspective of Karina from Los Angeles, California. Although the landscape and climate of the region make for a perfect day every day, that was not always Karina’s reality. Karina ...

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Sep 16, 2022   |  By Daily Republic

Agency offers free health clinic to formerly incarcerated residents

Free health screenings are part of a community health fair for residents who were formerly incarcerated.

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Sep 16, 2022   |  By Times Herald

Solano hosting community health fair next week

The fair, which will be hosted by the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) will provide access to free health screenings, wellness information and food to CEO participants and other formerly incarcerated individuals in the local community.

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Sep 15, 2022   |  By PBS News Hour

PBS NEWSHOUR: California looks to increase ‘gate money’ to help people adjust to life after prison

PBS NewsHour story on the importance of re-entry cash assistance featuring our RCS recipients Thanh and Allan and our CEO Sam Schaeffer.

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Jul 15, 2022   |  By Eric Borsuk

Reentry cash assistance meant much more than money for Billy

Billy has been enjoying spending time with his family, including his two boys, who are both in their twenties now, as well as learning to appreciate new outdoor activities, like camping, hiking, and visits to the beach. Things were much harder when he was released. “When I first got out ...

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Jun 15, 2022   |  By San Diego Union-Tribune

Opinion: After prison, it was hard to find work and start over. I now make it easier for others.

It’s been 22 years since I walked out of prison with a GED diploma, a handful of program certificates I earned “inside” and a mixture of fear and optimism about what was ahead of me. Looking back from the place where I now get to help people who are in ...

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Jun 15, 2022   |  By San Diego Union-Tribune

Opinion: I was facing years in prison for a burglary charge. Here’s how I turned my life around.

In June 2019, a South County Superior Court judge gave me a choice between accepting 12 years to life in prison or choosing the stringent conditions of a plea agreement and rebuilding my life after a burglary charge. I chose my life. After a year in the George Bailey Detention ...

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Jun 14, 2022   |  By KTVU

Company helps formerly incarcerated people

Kurt Phillips, who was formerly incarcerated, works for a company that tries to help people like himself find jobs and support.

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Jun 02, 2022   |  By TechCrunch

Google expands program to help train the formerly incarcerated

Last April, Google launched Grow with Google Career Readiness for Reentry, a program created in partnership with nonprofits to offer job readiness and digital skills training for formerly incarcerated individuals. As a part of an expansion, Google today announced that it’ll invest just over $8 million in organizations helping “justice-impacted” ...

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Jun 01, 2022   |  By Bari Samad

CEO continues Grow with Google partnership to provide digital skills training

Today, CEO was thrilled to host Grow With Google at our Oakland location to announce the expansion of their career readiness program for justice-Impacted communities. CEO will scale digital skills training into our job-readiness programming at all 31 locations. Former CEO program participants, practitioners, and Bay Area justice reformation partners ...

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Apr 15, 2022   |  By Dympna Ugwu-Oju (via The Fresno Bee)

Broken Ladders: 15 years in prison taught Fresno man lessons about life and redemption

Programs like the Center for Employment Opportunities make all the difference in the lives of formerly incarcerated people, like Christopher Williams, 37, who now works as an assistant at the CEO office in Fresno, doing office work and filling in wherever he is needed.

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Apr 13, 2022   |  By Dympna Ugwu-Oju (via The Fresno Bee)

Broken Ladders: How a new Fresno program is helping 68-year-old parolee restart life

Timothy Rodriguez was serving a 20 years to life jail term when Gov. Gavin Newsom commuted his sentence in March 2021 because of his age (68) and vulnerability to COVID.

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Apr 11, 2022   |  By Quiana Pugh

The need for consistent SNAP benefits during reentry

Jordan, a Center for Employment Opportunities participant in San Diego, didn't think he'd need access to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). While transitioning back home, Jordan's sober living facility provided meals. Even if he had been eligible, Jordan didn't want to apply for a benefit he didn't need ...

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Apr 10, 2022   |  By The Fresno Bee

Broken Ladders: New program gives formerly incarcerated people chance to work, restart life

When 37-year-old Christopher Williams was released from the Corcoran State Prison after serving 15 years for second-degree murder, he found his trials were far from over.

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Mar 31, 2022   |  By News and Review

Solano County Center for Employment changes lives daily by breaking the cycle of incarceration

As director of the Solano County Center for Employment Opportunities, Dr. Marcus Mills and his team have seen firsthand the impact immediate and effective employment services can have on individuals with justice backgrounds.

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Mar 30, 2022   |  By News and Review

A blessing in disguise: The Workforce Development Board of Solano County and its partner gave a Vallejo woman a new life after jail

When Mariah Nance, 31, of Vallejo was arrested and released on bail in 2017, the once storage rental company manager found herself jobless.

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Mar 30, 2022   |  By News and Review

From incarceration to career: A workforce development partner gives a Vacaville woman a pathway to full employment

After five years of incarceration, Erica Kucinskas walked out of prison in January 2021. She had her freedom, but no job.

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Mar 25, 2022   |  By Eric Borsuk

Jose’s RCS Story: Without the Returning Citizens Stimulus, “I would have come home to nothing”

“Growing up, I always wanted to be popular and fit in,” Jose says. “That’s basically how it all started.” Raised in South Sacramento, he insists the desire for acceptance early in life contributed to his incarceration. Eventually, Jose started hanging out with some local gang members, mostly for the parties ...

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Mar 08, 2022   |  By The Fresno Bee

Broken Ladders: Climbing the economic ladder in Fresno can be tough. Here's why

Americans love rags-to-riches stories. But Fresno, like many cities in the U.S., has not shown itself to be a city of opportunities, especially for certain populations. Social and economic mobility are limited — a lingering product of Fresno’s history of racism, segregation and redlining.

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Feb 24, 2022   |  By The Guardian

California gives people leaving prison just $200 to start over. After 50 years, that could change

A California lawmaker wants to increase the allowance that people released from prison receive to cover basic needs for the first time in nearly 50 years.

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Jan 12, 2022   |  By Eric Borsuk

Aaron’s Story: From prison to business owner

“I come from a gang background,” Aaron says. “I’ve always had a street mentality, that was just my life.” Growing up surrounded by street gangs in Northern California’s East Bay, Aaron says that he always expected to end up in prison one day, and unfortunately, his fears eventually became a ...

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Oct 25, 2021   |  By THE EAST County Gazette

Released Prisoners May Receive $2,750 in Direct Cash Assistance?

What happens if the state gives direct cash assistance—$2,750 spread out over three payments to released prisoners? This is what the state of California is trying out. A law now allows prosecutors to recommend incarcerated people for release if that person received a particularly excessive sentence, or has shown that ...

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Oct 25, 2021   |  By

Prisoners will get a $2,750 check when they leave prison

Gate money: The concept of “gate money” — a little bit of cash upon leaving prison — isn’t new. In fact, a lot of states send prisoners home with some funds in their pocket, generally at least enough for bus fare and a meal. But for most, the cash barely ...

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Oct 20, 2021   |  By The Crime Report

How $24M in Cash Grants Provided a Lifeline for Returning Citizens During Pandemic

Commentary by Sam Schaeffer and Ivonne Garcia: Navigating a return from prison or jail is hard even at the best of times. But during a pandemic it can be daunting. Scott, who was released from a California prison this year after serving six and a half years of a 10-year ...

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Oct 14, 2021   |  By Eric Borsuk

Scott's Story: How Cash Assistance During the Pandemic Led to a Full-Time Salaried Job With Benefits

Scott first heard about the Returning Citizen Stimulus (RCS) program while staying at a transition house near the San Bernardino Mountains in California. Since all of his family lived across the country, he didn’t have much support when returning from incarceration. A mortgage underwriter originally from Florida, Scott had been ...

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Sep 29, 2021   |  By Fast Company

This Program Is Testing What Happens When You Give Cash To People Leaving Prison

In California, a law allows prosecutors to recommend incarcerated people for release if that person received a particularly excessive sentence, or has shown that they’ve rehabilitated themselves while in prison. Now, 50 people who are released under that law will be part of a test: What happens if they also ...

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Jul 07, 2021   |  By

Opinion: Addressing biases and barriers can help solve worker shortage

Employers across California are asking, “Where can we find workers?” The truth is that many hundreds of thousands of Californians are locked out of opportunity. And it doesn’t have to be that way. Many of our state’s most pressing economic challenges are the consequence of inaction. In this case, more ...

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Apr 29, 2021   |  By San Francisco Chronicle

Google, nonprofits, to expand training for previously incarcerated people in Bay Area

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Apr 29, 2021   |  By Chase DiFeliciantonio

Google, nonprofits to expand training for previously incarcerated people in Bay Area

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Apr 26, 2021

Participant Success Story: Malik Talks About His Journey to Become a Certified Personal Trainer

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Jan 19, 2021

#MLKDay Series 2021: Alexa Harris

Alexa Harris (She/Her)Program Innovation Specialist, Career DevelopmentCEO Los Angeles

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Jan 19, 2021

#MLKDay Series 2021: Betty McKay

Betty McKayFormer ParticipantCEO Oakland

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Oct 23, 2020   |  By Times of San Diego

San Diego ‘Gets It Done’ — 7,000 Tons of Trash Removed from Public Spaces

Three years into a citywide effort to keep San Diego clean and safe, Mayor Kevin Faulconer brought together partners of the city’s Clean SD program Tuesday to highlight the progress in removing more than 7,000 tons of trash, debris and waste from public spaces across the city.

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Sep 10, 2018   |  Kusi News

San Diego Center for Employment Opportunities helps former inmates find jobs

One local organization is giving jobs to hundreds of people who were formerly incarcerated. Elizabeth Alvarez was live with Robert Smith from the Center for Employment Opportunities to talk about how the organization helps former inmates get back on their feet after prison.

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Dec 26, 2017   |  The San Bernardino Sun

How the Center for Employment Opportunities in San Bernardino gives those on probation or parole a second shot

SAN BERNARDINO – Inside an inconspicuous building on South E Street, Michael Wahome, Larry Bethea, Armando Lopez and a team of others are attempting to lower recidivism statistics one parolee, one probationer, one person at a time. Those at the Center for Employment Opportunities know what they’re up against: A ...

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