March 21, 2018
‘I Take My Story and Use It to Help Others Change Their Lives’
In 2017, the Center for New York City Affairs launched the Institute for Transformative Mentoring (ITM). In this video, participants speak about their personal transformations and their work as “credible messengers.” ITM credible messengers are formerly incarcerated men and women who, working with community-based and government agencies, help young people to navigate away from violence in their communities and avoid the criminal justice system.
ITM is a dynamic workforce training program offering college credit and supporting credible messengers in their professional and personal development.
‘ITM taught me the true definition of mentorship. They gave me an ability to express myself in a way that I never thought I would be able to express myself before.’ ITM graduate Freddie Singleton.
ITM was developed by the Center for New York City Affairs in collaboration with credible messengers, social service employers (including Good Shepherd Services, the Osborne Association, and Children’s Village), and the Pinkerton Foundation. “Our students have endured the trauma of incarceration, poverty, violence, and poor schooling,” says ITM program director Saj Rahman. “Helping them to contextualize and heal from this trauma enables them to be even more powerful agents of change in their communities.”
To date, the program has served 80 participants in four cohorts from 25 partner organizations, and has shown remarkable academic and employment success. Participants and recent graduates have strong job retention rates and many attain promotions and increased responsibilities with higher wages, increased hours, and additional benefits.