That word was used a lot this morning and certainly felt appropriate as we celebrated the first graduating class of the Code.7370 program at San Quentin. After getting to know the students over the last few months and hearing the speakers this morning, I certainly felt that I was witnessing something very special. With the added buzz of the press and tech industry players, the energy in the room made me feel like this really was an historic event, not just because of its uniqueness, a bright blip in the massive criminal justice system that most people pay little real attention to, but because it was the start of something big.
Amazing things like this require impressive collaboration and hard work and in this case, it was by The Last Mile, Hack Reactor, CALPIA, San Quentin Prison, and most importantly, the 16 inspiring incarcerated men who received their certificates today. I am extremely lucky to have been a tiny part of this tremendous effort and look forward to continuing to mentor, watching the program continue to thrive and grow at San Quentin, throughout California and beyond, and again, most importantly, seeing the students and graduates gain not just valuable skills, but hope, self-confidence, and the power to, in their own words, “change the trajectory of their lives”.
Like I keep saying, a small group of passionate people can change the world.