A new chapter: El Paso County Jail inmates graduate from new ‘life-skill’ program

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COLORADO SPRINGS — Eighteen inmates from the El Paso County Jail graduated on Thursday from “Growth and Leadership Life Skills Training Series”; a program offered through Pikes Peak Community College.

“We have a lot of classes that don’t have substance, but with this, we feel confident,” Graduate Sean Mayes said.

The 12-week program kicked off August 2019, it aims to teach students how to reinvent their lives after jail, have goals, while learning business etiquette, writing and more.

“The backbone of this program is a life plan and they articulate what they want in life and what matters to them,” PCCC contractor Sara Boatz said.

Since the start, 145 inmates have been touched by this program.

“I actually want to better my life and make a career with me and my son,” Graduate Genevieve Black said.

Behind bars, time is everything but graduates said the past 12 weeks have been life-changing.

“It feels great, I’m just excited to get out,” Mayes said.

What led these graduates in jail wasn’t disclosed but Boatz said it doesn’t matter.

“I know they are in here for a reason but don’t ask,” Boatz said.”They try and overcome any barriers in order for them to execute the plan.”

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