TOPS Programs

The Arouet Foundation’s mission is to provide educational assistance, workforce development, and job opportunities to incarcerated women, as well as ex-offenders, who are sincere about working hard to change their mindset and to become productive citizens. Our primary programs for this development are Transforming Our Possibilities (TOPS 1.0) & the Thrilling Opportunity Promoting Success (TOPS 2.0). 

The programs are designed to facilitate a holistic approach to reintegration with a focus on professional employment and reduction in recidivism.

Transforming our PossibilitieS Reentry Program (TOPS 1.0)
Purpose: To prepare incarcerated women for life outside the prison walls. It is a self-paced study during the last six-months of sentences.

Pre-Release:  Transforming our PossibilitieS Reentry Program (TOPS 1.0)

Topics include:
  • Self-Awareness
  • Setting Expectations and Limitations
  • Preparing for Release
  • Personal Finances
  • Life Skills (Parenting, Conflict Resolution & Anger Management, Communication Skills, Decision Making, Positive Thinking and Respect)
  • Substance Abuse/Mental & Medical Health
  • Relationships & Support Systems
  • Education and Employment (Career Matching & Planning, Resume Writing, and Interview Skills).
  • Two 6-hour Super Saturday workshops where local community experts join Arouet staff at the Perryville Prison to teach hands-on workshops on Professionalism, Interview Skills, Resume Writing and Mock Interviews.

Pre-Release:  Job Placement Services

Purpose:  To educate the job market on the talent in prison and assist released women in finding roles in the community

 
  • Assessment testing pre-release
  • Dedicated recruiting consultant who will advocate for recently released (or soon to be released) women in the job market
  • Interviewing Skills preparation
  • Regular follow-up with employee and employer at 30, 60, 90, 180 days and 12-month intervals to help with acclimation
Thrilling Opportunity Promoting Success (TOPS 2.0)

Purpose:  To continue post-release the holistic healing approach that was started in prison.

Post-Release:  Thrilling Opportunity Promoting Success (TOPS 2.0)
Purpose:  To continue post-release the holistic healing approach that was started in prison. Monthly workshops on a wide range of topics include: 
 
  • Four Personal Finance Workshops (Budgeting, Credit Repair, Home Ownership Preparation and 401(k) & Long-Term Financial Planning)
  • Time Management
  • Wellness & Healthy Living (Managing Stress, Smoking Cessation, Addressing Addiction, Healthy Eating, and Proper Exercise)
  • Personal Accountably
  • Parenting & Co-Parenting
  • Professionalism
  • Effective Communication
  • Social Media Etiquette
  • Preparing for College

Post-Release:  Arouet Mentorship Program

Purpose:  To pair recently released women with successful women mentors with “lived experience.”
 
  • Pairs newly released women with former TOPS graduates who have successfully navigated their own transition and are now living amazingly productive lives
  • Preparatory course for entering mentors
  • Regularly scheduled check-ins and with mentees and mentors
  • ORAS Assessments/ Case plans
Televerde Endowment for New Scholars (TENS)

Purpose:  To provide assistance with the cost of education for formerly incarcerated women who work at Televerde, an ACI workforce development partner.

 

  • Manage the educational endowment funded by the employees of Televerde
  • Grant scholarships to applicants based on established criteria

 

“TOPS has reminded me that life is messy . . . If I remove the emotion from my responses to the mess . . . I just might show up to a different kind of life”

Shawn T, TOPS Graduate

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