PIVOT, A NEW REENTRY PROGRAM FOR WOMEN IN BALTIMORE CITY, CELEBRATES ITS FIRST GRADUATING CLASS
Today, PIVOT celebrated the graduation of their first pilot class, honoring six outstanding women who are rebuilding their lives after incarceration. The graduates met Monday through Friday during a five-week intensive program covering everything from medical and mental health support to financial literacy, job readiness, parenting, communication skills, healthy relationships, teamwork, leadership, creative writing, health, nutrition and more. By graduation, one third of the participants had already started new jobs, and two thirds had interviews lined up with PIVOT’s employer partners.
Originally conceived of, by Bridget Nistico, and then co-Founded by she and Emily Thompson, PIVOT is a reentry program for women, by women. “PIVOT is designed to fill the gap in gender-specific reentry services for women in Baltimore City,” said Thompson. “There are a few excellent local programs for women in reentry, but the wait lists can seem endless and majority of resources are primarily focused on serving men or co-ed programming that does not address the unique needs of women and their children.” “Women are the fastest growing correctional population but the resources have not caught up to the need,” said Nistico. “PIVOT is working to change that.”
PIVOT’s graduation today was the culmination of a year of research, planning and preparation to launch the pilot program in August 2018. Community members, PIVOT supporters, mentors, partners and family members were in attendance to honor the women’s hard work and dedication. City councilwoman Shannon Sneed congratulated the graduates and spoke a few words of encouragement on their journey ahead. The graduation was hosted by THE MIX Church in East Baltimore, which is also the site of the PIVOT workshops. Lunch was catered by the soon-to-open Caribbean restaurant, Bikkle, Mary Gardella Photography (Photographer and co-producer of the H.E.R. podcast series) and financial literacy partner PNC Bank , sponsor/donor Lakeisha Henderson (Bike and Brunch Tours), as well as representatives from partner organizations including JARC (Jane Addams Resource Corporation, which helps both job seekers and employers advance in today’s rapidly changing economy), Marion House, (a holistic, healing community for women and their children who are in need of housing and support services), and Johns Hopkins Social Innovation Lab, (which supports innovative nonprofits, mission-driven companies and disruptive technologies that aim to create change and opportunity in Baltimore and beyond); where the co-founders met and began their journey together to help women reenter successfully. Another example of our motto #bettertogether, in action, and another reason why we will never know everything about #HERstory. Congratulations ladies, you inspire us with your courage and you humble us with your commitment to better your lives. #truestory
PIVOT is a Baltimore-based nonprofit that connects women released from the corrections system with critical services needed to reclaim their lives, rejoin their families and reinvigorate their communities. The vision of PIVOT is a world where a woman’s past does not determine her future. To learn more about Pivot and how you can support their efforts, donate, volunteer, or just encourage the women, click here.