Regis Trio Share First Impressions
CEO is once again the proud beneficiary of another University of Regis student project. Sophomores Hayley, Nataha and Sami report:
“Through our “Research & Writing in the Community Class,” we, Hayley, Natasha, and Sami, were partnered with Community Educational Outreach to assist with creating infographics that would be educational and promotional of the work CEO does while giving information about the American prison system in general.
However, we didn’t think this was a job that we could do adequately without a better understanding of CEO as an organization, so we paid a visit to the men’s facility. At first, we were all internally battling with ourselves the stigmas that we have absorbed about this population of individuals from society. We were apprehensive meeting with people whom we differed so much from. We all were hoping that they would be receptive to us as outsiders coming into their space.
When we arrived the building was a bit confusing, but no sooner had we taken a few steps in one of CEO’s clients asked us if we needed help, at which point he considerately guided us to where we were supposed to be. At this point, we met several friendly staff members, who gave us an introduction to the facility as well as another client, Mike, who gave us an exceptional tour.
We appreciated how open he was with us about how difficult it can be to live at CEO, while also sharing its positive qualities. All of the men there seemed to want to give us an honest account about what life was like at CEO, from breathalyzer tests to GED prep. Through meeting these individuals we were able to silence the voices that separate “us” vs. “them” that society constantly creates.
Having talked to the clients at CEO, it seemed that they were smart men with big aspirations who had made a mistake. These men should be defined, not by these mistakes, but by their willingness to alter their present trajectory. CEO is doing so much good for men and women in these situations we believe that after having completed the wide array of programs offered by CEO, these people should be able to reenter society free from prejudice.
Our perception is that CEO is doing so much good; it seems a shame that our society as a whole is unable to meet a similar standard. Overall our first impression of CEO was nothing short from welcoming, it is a joy to be able to work with these individuals and provide services to an organization helping others recognize their dignity.”