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Huntingdon Celebrates Entrepreneurship

Tags: Huntingdon
November 05, 2021 12:00 AM
By: DOC Staff

Four graduates stand with their teacher and show off their certificates

The Reentry Services Office (RSO) at SCI Huntingdon recently hosted a graduation ceremony for the first Restorative Justice Initiative Entrepreneurship class. Participants shared their final projects and described companies they would like to form upon release. Each presented their business plan and company logo to RSO staff and a professor from Penn State University. Students overcame their nerves to showcase their accomplishments with enthusiasm.

"I was extremely impressed with each of the presentations," said Annette Pannebaker, parole manager for the Altoona district. "The business plans were eloquently written from the heart, and the logos displayed a high degree of artistic talent."

The pride felt by each reentrant was evident by the smiles on their faces. One student remarked that the "class takes me out of prison when I'm here." Another became choked up when explaining that "this was more than a learning class for business — this made me a better person."

An inmate receives a certificate

At the end of their presentations, the students were surprised with official Certificates of Entrepreneurship from Penn State. The certificates were embossed with official university seal and signed by their professor. Each certificate was presented by reentry staff, Superintendent Rivello, and the PSU professor (via video conference).

Special thanks to Agent Christine Stone for spearheading the project and serving as the liaison with PSU for the past two years. Her hard work was rewarded by the success of the students who were so proud – yet so humble – to be chosen for this opportunity.

An inmate reads a paper in a class with people watching

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