Celebrating New Beginnings: 1st PREP Graduation!

On Tuesday March 31st, BOSS staff, our partners, supporters, dignitaries and special guests celebrated the hard-won achievement of 11 very special participants in PREP – the BOSS Partners in Reentry Employment Program, a partnership with Alameda County Probation Department.

At Humanist Hall in Oakland, over 60 people – graduates, family members, and special guests – gathered in a festive setting to celebrate the completion of training by PREP graduates, and their new beginnings.

"PREP GRADUATION"The Partners in Reentry Employment Program (PREP) provides comprehensive employment services to formerly incarcerated individuals released under AB 109 – assessments, training, resume preparation, soft skills, job search assistance, referrals/placements, and follow up. All 11 graduates celebrated at the March 31st event had secured jobs by the completion of the program!

“The event was wonderful!” said Donald Frazier, BOSS Executive Director. “The graduates were amazing, humble, appreciative, grateful… it was absolutely incredible.”

The BOSS Food Services Team – consisting of BOSS staff and a team of PREP trainees – prepared and served a delicious buffet dinner as part of one of the program’s on-the-job training tracks.

“The people at PREP are really sincere in their desire to see you succeed,” said Jermaine Owens, PREP graduate and now employed at Marriott Hotel in Fremont. “They had more faith in me than I had in myself.”

PREP speaks to BOSS’s deep-held belief that all people capable of change – with the right kind of support and encouragement.

Guest speakers at the event included Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson; Marlene Hurd, BOSS Board Member, 2015 Women’s Foundation California Policy Foundation Fellow, and Healthy Communities Inc; and Alretta Tolbert, Adult Educational Technologies, who has hired several PREP participants.

“When they come to the program, most people are actually looking for a way out,” said Dennis McCray, BOSS Director of Operations. “They seem to be quite relieved to be in a program because it’s a way out of a lifestyle that typically ends badly.”

Special thanks to our event donors:

Computer Technology & Resource Center
Andronico’s Markets
Treibles Stationers

To provide an on-the-job training or employment opportunity to someone trying to turn their life around, contact BOSS Workforce Coordinator Eunice Feathers at (510) 891-8773.

You can also make an online donation to support BOSS’s economic development, housing, health, and social justice programs.

Congratulations, 1st PREP Graduating class!!

*Pictures from Oakland Tribune story

PREP graduation press:

Oakland Tribune
San Jose Mercury News
KTVU