Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) Warden Anissa De La Cruz and Community Resource Management team hosted the first Defy cohort graduation. Forty entrepreneurs-in-training (EIT) graduated during the ceremony. Incarcerated participants received the opportunity to pitch their business models, ideas, and inventions to over 50 volunteer business leaders.
“I could not help but notice the positive changes in the program participants compared to my initial encounter. Their growth and transformation were remarkable and speaks to the effectiveness of the program,” said a volunteer business leader.
The CCWF graduation was the culmination of the hard work of incarcerated individuals who participated in Defy Ventures entrepreneurship program. The EIT’s took courses for an average of six months that taught them to turn their business ideas into reality. The EIT’s received a Certificate of Entrepreneurship from the Drucker School of Management at Claremont University.
“Defy taught me how to prioritize putting what’s important for myself before everything I do. I learned to believe in myself, practice positive self-talk, and looking at my strong traits instead of my flaws,” said Sarah Montoya, CCWF Defy program participant.
The EIT’s confidently presented their business ideas with one special EIT winning the prize.
Story by Lt. M. D. Williams, AA/PIO
Pictures by C. Waybright, CRM
Central California Women’s Facility