The Power of PM: How a Prison Program is Changing Lives

Fort Worth Chapter

Cindy is a project manager in Arlington, Texas.

I have always had a passion for serving the community through outreach. Any community service effort is appreciated (such as showing up at a food pantry or Habitat for Humanity project), but I have always believed the most fulfilling endeavors are those that allow us to give of our talents and experience.

That is why for me, helping others learn how to improve their journey through the discipline of project management has always been so satisfying—going back to my time as project coach for the management of a local Girls Inc. organization, to when fellow Fort Worth, Texas chapter board member Michele Gagne and I began teaching project management to non-profit staff members.

Through our chapter’s community outreach initiative, Michele and I have taught project management courses to staff members at organizations such as the Fort Worth Center for Transforming Lives and the Boys and Girls Club of greater Tarrant County. However, it wasn’t until Michele asked me to join her in teaching project management to inmates at a local men’s prison that I embarked on the journey of a lifetime.

Michele had been a regular volunteer for several years in a program called the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) through her workplace. Established in 2004, PEP is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has pioneered innovative programs that connect …

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