Created with Sketch.
Our Social Impact
50 minutes | Mar 4, 2021
Ep#033, Marlon Chamberlain, Stopping Gang Violence Before It Starts
Marlon Chamberlain, Englewood Community Project Manager for READI Chicago, discusses his work with Dirk van Velzen, CEO at the Prison Scholar Fund, in this episode of Our Social Impact. Marlon reflects on violent crime prevention strategies employed by READI Chicago and the effects of underinvestment in South Chicago communities. Dirk and Marlon also discuss reacclimating to life after prison and creating positive reference groups in at-risk communities https://youtu.be/HYtNmbfjrP8 Invest in Potential – Make a Gift Today!
50 minutes | Jan 27, 2021
Ep#032, Salena Taylor, Shattering the Mold
Salena Taylor, Founder of Partial to Girls, joins Dirk van Velzen, CEO at the Prison Scholar Fund in this episode of Our Social Impact. Salena discusses overcoming the trauma of incarceration, the difficulties of life on parole, and the barriers faced by those reentering society from prison. Dirk and Salena also dive deeper into how Jackson College in Michigan is assisting incarcerated people access education and invest in the future. https://youtu.be/YCKPeRFRQBM Invest in Potential – Make a Gift Today!
42 minutes | Jan 11, 2021
Ep#031, Juan Flores, From Expecting Prison to Considering a PhD
Juan Flores, a member of the Underground Scholars program at U.C. Berkeley, explores his unlikely journey to college with the Founder and CEO of the Prison Scholar Fund, Dirk van Velzen. Juan discusses his incredible journey from prison to the top public university in California. Tune in to learn about Juan’s current research at Berkeley, the challenges faced by formerly incarcerated people seeking education, and how Underground Scholars is making college possible for those with criminal convictions. https://youtu.be/EgkgPqdCyzI Invest in Potential – Make a Gift Today!
49 minutes | Jan 4, 2021
Ep#030, Not Getting “Lost in the Shuffle”
Hakim Crampton, Founder and Director of AMEN 4 Youth, sits down with Dirk van Velzen, Founder and CEO at the Prison Scholar Fund, to discuss his experience with the Innocence Project, life on parole, and his current work as a juvenile justice advocate. In this episode, Dirk and Hakim swap stories from their experiences going through the clemency and parole systems, and from their time with JustLeadershipUSA. Hakim also does a deep dive into his work teaching students hip-hop and rap to improve their literacy levels and classroom engagement. https://youtu.be/4C5Glqz8jhU Invest in Potential – Make a Gift Today!
37 minutes | Dec 30, 2020
Ep#029, Supporting First Generation College Students
Michael Cheever, College Success Foundation Executive Vice President of External Affairs, and Anthony Peterson, Alumni Board Member, share their experience supporting first generation college students with Dirk van Velzen, CEO at the Prison Scholar Fund. Hear about the evolution of College Success Foundation from a scholarship awarding organization to an academic support system for students beginning in middle school and running through college . Michael, Anthony, and Dirk also discuss structuring effective mentorship programs and creating robust community partnerships to promote college-going cultures in underserved communities. https://youtu.be/STuKJDL6Aac Invest in Potential – Make a Gift Today!
41 minutes | Dec 15, 2020
Ep#028, Disrupting the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline
Listen in as Almetta Pitts, Founder of Attemla Consulting and TeamChild board member, joins Dirk van Velzen, CEO at the Prison Scholar Fund, to discuss interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. Almetta brings her insight to undoing institutional racism, addressing implicit bias, and viewing the prison system through a human lens. Learn about Almetta’s path from teaching in South Korea to her work promoting diversity, equity, and belonging here in the United States. https://youtu.be/3jOK8IP-1fg Invest in Potential – Make a Gift Today!
50 minutes | Oct 26, 2020
Ep#027, College and Beyond for Formerly Incarcerated People: Underground Scholars at U.C. Berkeley
Violeta Alvarez, the former Program Director for the Underground Scholars Initiative at U.C. Berkeley, discusses her experience as a formerly incarcerated person with Prison Scholar Fund CEO, Dirk van Velzen. Violeta and Dirk explore navigating college with a criminal record, the push to “Ban the Box,” and the inequities created by the current public defender system. Violeta breaks down the amazing work being done to destigmatize formerly incarcerated people attending college and shares her personal journey from the prison system, to U.C. Berkeley, to Hastings Law School. https://youtu.be/s13myDN8U6I
31 minutes | Jun 23, 2020
Ep#026, The Golden One
Life after prison can be daunting. Goldie Russell sits down with Dirk van Velzen, CEO at the Prison Scholar Fund, on this episode to Our Social Impact to talk, hardships, triumph, and perspective. Goldie approaches transition with the attitude that fear will not guide it as it can produce beautiful fruits, thrilling experiences, and a unique perspective that even Ghandi could be proud of. https://youtu.be/3bvwywB2RtY
44 minutes | May 16, 2020
Ep#025 – Restorative Justice is Changing the Conversation about Conflict
Nicholas Bradford, Founder and Executive Director at the National Center for Restorative Justice (NC4RJ), sits down with Dirk van Velzen, CEO at the Prison Scholar Fund, and unpacks how Restorative Justice is a “relational approach to conflict.” Primarily working in schools the NC4RJ has created a language that speaks to our human nature to connect and be in community. Conflict makes that difficult and we need strategies and systems that will address those difficulties, besides our traditional way of exclusion and isolation. King County, Washington, has initiated a Zero Youth Detention Initiative, this goal will need both deep community support and political commitments. Restorative Justice when implemented well can be a game changer for communities, victims, authors of harm, and police. We have to question our assumptions about how we respond to harm in school and in our community. https://youtu.be/QZttt24mUYM
54 minutes | Apr 2, 2020
Ep#024 – From Cannabis Prisoner to Stanford Scholar
Stanford undergrad Jason Spyres talks with Dirk van Velzen, CEO of the Prison Scholar Fund, about his journey from being a poor youth and making mistakes based upon improper notions of what success is, and how he came to a clear understanding of what he wanted for himself, and the impact he wanted to make upon society. After being released from a 30-year prison sentence for nonviolent cannabis offenses, he went back to school and eventually transferred to Stanford University, where he currently studies computer science. Jason reveals his understanding of the barriers others face, including institutional and systemic barriers that are not equal across all demographics, and works daily to help equalize the playing field. https://youtu.be/FiAb5SO3sDg
35 minutes | Mar 10, 2020
Ep#023 – Why are people afraid of being themselves?
Marquis Elliott, AKA Preacher, answers this question when he sits down with Dirk van Velzen, CEO at the Prison Scholar Fund. Preacher believes many people are afraid of not being themselves because of criticism. He explores how some people need to understand that life is subjected to nothing but all types of criticism. Once you grab onto the fact that change is inevitable and not everyone will understand the person you are and/or became, then you will be able to accept who you are and find out what you're supposed to be doing in life. Preacher digs deep into dreams, goals, and passions that are meant for you and you only, and if others do not understand them then maybe they are not meant to be around you or with you as you grow. https://youtu.be/RHKlA533Zxc
38 minutes | Feb 24, 2020
Ep#022 – New Profit’s Case for Applying Venture Capital Principles to Social Impact Investing
Ep#022 - New Profit's Case for Applying Venture Capital Principles to Social Impact Investing Brian Screnar, Partner at New Profit Foundation, sat down with Dirk van Velzen at the Prison Scholar Fund to talk about how his nonprofit uses venture capital evaluations and metrics to investin in social entrepreneurs that have proven their models. https://youtu.be/3r2BmWP2rhg
59 minutes | Feb 12, 2020
Ep#021 – Using Tech to Connect Families and Advocacy Groups to Incarcerated Populations
Marcus Bullock sat down with Dirk Van Velzen of the Prison Scholar Fund to discuss his journey to build Flikshop, a mobile app that helps families and organizations send notifications to incarcerated residents via postcards. We discuss the entrepreneurial path, his failures along way, and how he is helping to create success stories for other returning citizens. Bullock believes that we can prevent recidivism if we help keep love, positive affirmations, and notifications about resources that most people do not have access to while they’re in prison. How are we going to create successful reentry plans after release? “Scalable tech”, Bullock says. https://youtu.be/uZjwpZ2HY-E
47 minutes | Jan 29, 2020
Ep#020 – Why some nonprofits succeed but most are still struggling
Donald Summers, founder of Altruist Partners, is known globally for his work dramatically accelerating nonprofit growth, revenue, and social impact. He spoke with Dirk van Velzen at the Prison Scholar Fund about what it takes to transform your organization from struggling to true success. There are hard truths and brutal realities, along with clear, practical and actionable directions about how to become a more effective leader for making the world a better place. https://youtu.be/IwZrd3JTk_c
31 minutes | Jan 20, 2020
Ep#019, Why Yoga Behind Bars?
Julian Saucier sat down with Dirk Van Velzen to discuss his journey from incarcerated person to Executive Director of Yoga Behind Bars. He talks about his experience in prison, how learning yoga in prison shaped the course of his rehabilitation, and how he continues to use the lessons he learned from that experience to develop a positive mindset as well as the power, purpose, and passion needed to guide Yoga Behind Bars into the future. This conversation highlights how important the teachings provided by yoga were to give the introspection and reflection needed to make the most of opportunities in a world that can at times feel exhausting and challenging. https://youtu.be/wrG8LX1VnBg
28 minutes | Jan 14, 2020
Ep#018, Why Young People are Getting Organized and Demanding Change
Claire Gorey sat down with Dirk Van Velzen of the Prison Scholar Fund to talk about her work as a 16-year-old changemaker. She talks about her A-Ha moment when it became clear she needed to get involved and be the change. Claire talks about her role as co-founder of her high school's Empowerment Club, as a chapter lead for March for our Lives, and her work to turn a Red district Blue for the first time in over 40 years. Learn how this 16-year-old was able to get over 200 people to join her for a community rally against gun violence and support common-sense gun reform. Join us for a conversation that will leave you inspired and confident in this generation of youth leaders whose work today is focused on getting our nation back on track because they cannot wait. https://youtu.be/dEPUdC8BUsw
57 minutes | Jan 6, 2020
Ep#017, Defying the Odds
Leo Novsky, Executive Director at Defy Ventures, Washington, sat down with Dirk van Velzen at the Prison Scholar Fund to discuss how his organization unlocks human potential in prisons and beyond. https://youtu.be/R0TQxK_notk
31 minutes | Dec 30, 2019
Ep#016, Wired to Win
Robert Wood, PSF Board Director and Senior Social Media Advisor, as well as #Cut50 ambassador, sat down to talk to Dirk van Velzen, CEO at PSF, about how he entered federal prison as a gang member serving 25 years for a drug conspiracy and ended up earning four degrees including a dual Bachelor's of Science in Small Business Management and Marketing, graduated magna cum laude, and began his MBA degree. As he continues his volunteer efforts for both organizations he is writing a book entitled, Wired to Win, which is designed to help others in tough situations understand what it takes to succeed in any situation. https://youtu.be/iN8BhiIbxG4
36 minutes | Dec 23, 2019
Ep#015, Dismantling Permanent Punishments
Quintin Williams, campaign manager at Heartland Alliance, sits down with Dirk van Velzen to discuss his policy work in Illinois, how he approaches the work, and his hopes for a better future for everyone, especially people with criminal records. https://youtu.be/yxTWpDR_2IM
50 minutes | Dec 16, 2019
Ep#014, From Prison to Therapist Within a Year of Freedom
Prison Scholar Jenny Iredale, Therapist at Royal Life Center, sat down with Dirk van Velzen of the Prison Scholar Fund to discuss her educational journey while in prison, including being thrown "the hole" (segregation) for tweeting for the PSF, to life in the free world changing the lives of people with chemical dependency challenges. Jenny feels that she is living proof that we can turn our lives around. She uses experiences from her past to make a positive impact in the lives of others. https://youtu.be/Qojhfo0qBd0
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021