Warner Robins, Ga. – Sometimes life requires a reset, and with that in mind, the Office of Re-entry Services, through the Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) Foundation, established and awarded earlier this month, its inaugural scholarship for a previously incarcerated citizen continuing their education.
The Re-entry Scholarship for Educational Transition (RESET) awards an actively enrolled student in good academic standing who have been previously incarcerated in a Georgia public or private corrections facility and has applied within two years of release. The Office of Re-entry Services worked with the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) to establish the $250/semester award.
The inaugural recipient is Denetra Ware Jackson. The Foundation recognized her amongst her peers at their bi-annual Awards Day Ceremony in early April.
“We are thrilled that Denetra is the first recipient of this scholarship, and for what it will help her accomplish as she continues her education at CGTC,” said, Dr. Brittany Lucas, executive director of Re-entry Services. Re-entry Services, under the supervision of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), oversees certificate programs and on-the-job training in 13 public and private correctional facilities across Georgia.
“This scholarship was created because community members saw the great work we are doing inside the prisons and wanted to further support our incarcerated citizens post-release. We take great pride in our work as we continuously strive to accomplish the goals set forth by Gov. Deal’s Prison Reentry Initiative. We want all formerly incarcerated citizens to know they have our support to continue their education at CGTC.”
Jackson, 30, finished her time for a violation of probation charge at West Central Integrated Treatment Facility in Zebulon, Ga., in February, just weeks before the Foundation announced the scholarship. Before leaving the facility, Jackson knew one of her first steps of re-entry would be to continue her education.
“I found a liking in Business Management,” said Jackson, who holds a diploma in Early Childhood Care and Education from CGTC, and was once considering nursing. “I like planning things, even down to my kids’ birthday parties. I thought, ‘why not get paid for it?”
Compensation for her skills in event planning is yet to be determined, but what is established is her role as the first recipient of a scholarship, and that pays in responsibility.
“No matter what, always chase after your dreams, never lose hope, and never give up,” she said, considering what her pioneer position might mean to future students. “The biggest thing is do not doubt yourself. Do not be afraid to apply, to step out there. It is just as everyone was telling me; you may be a motivation to everyone else who may be afraid.”
Ware believes the RESET Scholarship will give her the push forward to continue, and the support behind her from GDC and the Office of Re-entry, the strength to finish.
Eventually, Jackson plans to start her own business. For now, her focus is on school, her kids, and her husband, Perry, whom she married in mid-march.
For more information on scholarship opportunities or donations visit, http://www.centralgatech.edu/foundation/scholarships/ or call 478-757-3400.
For more information on the Office of Re-entry Services contact, Dr. Brittany Lucas at firstname.lastname@example.org
About CGTC’s Office of Re-entry Services:
The Office of Re-entry Services at Central Georgia Technical College offers technical certificates of credit in 13 facilities, and on-the-job-training opportunities across the state of Georgia. CGTC Re-Entry Services aims to help incarcerated citizens gain the knowledge and skills they need to find successful employment upon their release, which in turn, builds a better workforce to fulfill the needs of business and industry and support a healthy economy. Re-entry Services operates under inter-governmental agency contracts from Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT), the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC), and the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
[From Left to Right] Dr. Brittany Lucas, executive director of Re-entry Services at CGTC, Denetra Ware Jackson, RESET Scholarship recipient, Dr. Heather Corbett, director of Career, Technical and Post-Secondary Education for GDC, and Carla Best, program manager for Re-entry Services at CGTC, gather onstage following the presentation of the RESET Scholarship at CGTC’s Awards Day Ceremony.