The Last Mile (TLM) began as an intensive 6-month entrepreneurship program at San Quentin, in which men learned how to tap into their passion to create a business that includes a technology component and social cause. TLM was created to provide programs that result in successful reentry and reduce recidivism. Their mission is to provide marketable skills that lead to employment.
Through the TLM process, immates at San Quention learn how businesses function, how to work with a team, accept criticism, gain confidence in their ability to grasp new ideas, and pivot when they are heading down the wrong path. With the help of volunteers, guest speakers, and leaders from the business community, they are introduced to the latest technology without access to the internet or hands on experience.
Reduxio got involved in TLM through one of our customers, Scale Venture Partners. We decided the program was so amazing that we provided them with an HX550 array to help store and manage the data that comes out of the programs.
The following is a transcript from an interview with Hans Schoenburg, Program Manager in The Last Mile.
About our students
Once that light bulb goes off they never stop, and they always want more, and they work so hard. Our program is not that old, and so we get new students who, I think, in a large part, due to how they've interacted with other institutions have a lot of skepticism. They look at computer coding and they think, "I don't know if this is for me. I don't know anyone who does this. This is really foreign." With time, our program is a very supportive environment.
One thing the guys love about it is that we're a little sort of haven away from the hectic, more dangerous, larger prison situation, so we're in a very enclosed space. I'd like to think that over time we work on these younger skeptical students. It's happened a couple times now. About six weeks into the program some of the new students, I'll just see a light bulb go off in their head, and it'll click in their mind that they can do this, that this is something they can actually do.
A skill they can learn.
Then they find out how employable it is, and the kind of salary they could make upon release, and suddenly they can very clearly see a path before them in which they cannot only turn their lives around, but come home and be a supporting pillar of their families. At that point, it's in my job just to give them what they need, support them, don't slow them down, and also challenge them.
Challenge them so that when they get out they're actually ready.
Working with reduxio
We're probably the only coding school in the world whose students are not allowed to use the internet.
The Reduxio System's been great for us. We have 90 terabytes of storage. We're only using eight or nine at this point. It's been super solid, and it's good to know that we have a huge resource pool to use as we download more and more and more of the web for our students. It's super fast. We've actually had no problems at all with it, which has been great.
Working with the Reduxio team has been really fun. Daniel, one of the support engineers came to visit San Quentin and then went to work immediately with the new chassis that he was installing. They're proactive about support needs like upgrade, patch, these sort of things. It's just good to know that they're taking care of it. One less thing for me to worry about.