This highlight is about a program that has as much passion as Boxing! Founder, Ari Kohn and his organization are major contributors to boxer Jen Hamann.
Recently I interviewed Ari Kohn, and here is what he had to say!
When and why did you start Post-Prison Education Program?
- 23 August 2005, immediately after meeting a man who suffers from co-occurring disorders (both bi-polar and addicted). He was coming out of prison as his brother went back to prison, and they had been doing that since 1982. In an e-mail I wrote to a UW professor the day I met this man (Kevin), I asked him to think in terms of “saving lives,” and I was clearly thinking that if anything could help him turn his life around it was post-secondary education. I wanted people like Kevin to have a chance to overcome addiction and mental illness and intergenerational poverty and have a first chance at a good life – pointedly, not a second chance, rather, a first chance.
What are your goals?
- To help men and women leaving prison build lives worth living, to overcome humanity previously denied, to unite with their families and become contributing members in our communities.
What do you want the public to know about your Program?
- That as opposed to the Washington State Legislature and Department of Corrections’ abysmal failure rate of 46% the Post-Prison Education Program has a success rate of 98%. That when former prisoners see concrete hope and are given real opportunities they almost always respond and become amazing contributing members of our communities.
Why do you support boxer Jen Hamann?
- Jen blows my mind! We met her when she came to the Post-Prison Education Program as a volunteer and later became an employee. The Program supports Jen, and I support her personally because she has the ability to inspire and empower, not only other women, but both men and women. She is living, walking, and sometimes talking proof that hard, hard work, focus, tenacity, dedication, and pursuing dreams can have an amazing, amazing result. Also, I’m hoping if we hang around her long enough I’ll get a chance to kidnap Moose!
Where can people go to find more out about Post-Prison Education Program?
How can people help the Program?