It’s Not Just A Job: Finding Your Passion Later In Life
When Michel’ei met the Co-founder, Jai Al-Attas, in 2017 she was 5 months out of prison and told him that her dream had always been to be a chef. She didn’t believe that she had the right to pursue her dreams. Her confidence was shattered by the barriers placed in her path. Often time, when formerly-incarcerated individuals are reintegrated in society, they face rejection due to the stigma of being system-involved. Michel’ei was also a mother during her incarceration which caused a strain on the family structure, in addition to the challenges she has to face in society.
Before we even had a name for our program, we placed Michel’ei with Chef Ella Freyinger for a 4 week paid traineeship in her commercial kitchen, and once she completed the program Michel’ei secured full time employment with Ella.
Since then Michel’ei has been providing exquisite culinary experiences for 2 years due to her commitment to believe in herself and the Creative Futures network for investing in the foundation of her dream.
We’re very proud of Michel’ei and the foundation that she helped us build with Creative Futures Collective.
- According to The Sentencing Project’s 2019 report, more than 60% of women in state prisons have a child under the age of 18. Studies report numerous negative outcomes for children as a consequence of parental incarceration, ranging from depression and anxiety to aggression and delinquency depending on circumstances such as the child’s age and the length of a parent’s incarceration (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2015).
- Based upon their annual average, ex-offenders owe as much as 60% of their income in criminal debts. Unpaid criminal debts is the most common cause that leads to re-incarceration.
- According to Mental Health America’s 2020 report, there are approximately 20 million people in the U.S. that identify as Asian-American/Pacific Islander. 15% of that 20 million people, equal to about 3 million people, reported having mental health concerns/issues in the past year.
Here are tangible ways that you can support our Fellows.