Orijin | 2nd Chances @ Work

Arti Finn, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Orijin

Welcome to Orijin's 2nd Chances @ Work, a community podcast dedicated to changing corrections for good.

Join Arti Finn, Orijin Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, as she interviews justice-impacted individuals who are harnessing the power of education to break the cycle of incarceration and leaders who are transforming corrections!

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Jason Spyres' Story: From Incarceration to Innovation
Jul 10 2024
Jason Spyres' Story: From Incarceration to Innovation
In a recent episode of Orijin’s Second Chance @Work podcast, Arti Finn, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Orijin, had an insightful conversation with Jason Spyres, CEO and Co-Founder of Training All People, Inc. (TAP3D). Spyres’ journey from incarceration to becoming a tech entrepreneur is nothing short of inspiring, offering valuable lessons and hope for both justice-impacted individuals and correctional administrators.His story begins with a challenging childhood. Despite being raised in a home with loving parents, their struggles with drug addiction created an unstable environment. At a young age, Spyres realized he needed to take charge of his own life, which led him to work various jobs to support himself. Unfortunately, his teenage years saw him engaging in illegal activities, such as selling drugs, which eventually led to his arrest at 19 and a staggering 30-year prison sentence for nonviolent offenses. He ultimately served 14 years and 7 months before being released to a work release center.During his time in prison, Spyres experienced a critical moment of self-reflection, and realized that his actions, though perceived as harmless, had broader implications, including the potential to harm innocent people. This epiphany spurred a profound change in him, leading to a commitment to rehabilitating himself and giving back to society.Education became Jason's pathway to transformation. Despite the barriers within the prison system, he relentlessly pursued knowledge, leveraging whatever resources he could find, from old textbooks to online courses from leading universities. His determination and resilience paid off as he was accepted to Stanford University. His journey was not without its hurdles; he faced numerous rejections before finally being accepted. This persistence underscored his philosophy: "Make them tell you no." His time at Stanford, studying computer science, solidified his passion for using technology to create positive change.Today, Spyres serves as Chief Executive Officer at TAP3D, a company that uses 3D models, VR simulations, and desktop simulations to provide training and education. His goal is to make training accessible to all, especially those within the corrections system. By offering realistic and immersive experiences, TAP3D aims to equip individuals with the skills needed to succeed post-incarceration, reducing recidivism and improving overall outcomes.Jason's journey is a powerful reminder of what is possible with determination and access to education. To hear more about his inspiring story and his advice for corrections administrators seeking to improve morale, safety, and reduce recidivism through educational access, listen to the full interview on the podcast.Orijin.works
Isme’s Journey: From Incarceration to Inspiration
May 24 2024
Isme’s Journey: From Incarceration to Inspiration
As we continue to recognize Mental Health Awareness Month, Isme’s story of resilience and transformation highlights the profound impact of mental health on personal growth and change for justice-impacted individuals. Growing up, Isme, 30, faced physical and emotional abuse, abandonment, and sexual abuse at a young age. Her turbulent childhood led her to run away from home, drop out of high school, and become a mother at the age of 15. These hardships could have defined her, but Isme's life journey took a different path.Her life took a dramatic turn when she was incarcerated at 19, serving a 7-year-to-life sentence. It was during her time in prison that she began the hard work of self-reflection and change. "I had to really face me, of all people," she recalls. "It was my own demons, my own ways, my own trauma." Confronting her past and understanding the reasons behind her actions was a pivotal part of her transformation.After 10 years of dedication and rehabilitation, Isme earned her parole. Today, she works as a Support Associate at Orijin. At Orijin, Isme has gained new skills, from basic computer functions to customer service, all while being supported by a team that believes in her potential.She is currently working towards her high school equivalency, a crucial step in her journey of self-improvement. Isme emphasizes the importance of maintaining hope and faith, even in the darkest times. "At the end of the tunnel, there really is light. It might not be the brightest, but if you're able to survive and make it out, you are more than gold." At Orijin, Isme constantly taps into her own experiences to ensure that we are providing the best product and customer service possible. She has become a beacon of hope for those who face the same challenges she once did. Her work not only transforms her own life but also impacts those around her, showing that second chances are possible and transformative.We hope you enjoy this inspirational podcast.Orijin.works