Total loan: $6,000


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Milwaukee, WI, United States / Transportation

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A loan helped a small business sustainably grow and provide employment for previously incarcerated individuals.

Shannon's story

I spent 17 years in prison from the age of 19-36 and needed to be removed from society to unlearn dangerous ways of looking at life and the people that I had acquired growing up. During my incarceration, I was given the chance to acquire my bachelor's degree in business administration thanks to financial support from loved ones. I also wrote several articles that were published nationally and locally and I created a nonprofit called The Community (thecommunitynow.us), which still exists to better prepare people for success upon release and correct the false narrative about people with criminal records in society. Upon release, I began graduate school at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in Sustainable Peacebuilding and have become a member of several committees and groups committed to improving justice and wholeness in communities both in Wisconsin and across the country. However, I have always been very entrepreneurial. My incarceration, academic life, and nonprofit work have allowed me to acquire a structure and depth of people and systems and the issues we face as a society. However, starting a business has given me an invaluable understanding of the dynamics of employment and economics beyond the mostly theoretical understanding I had from my degree and study. I feel immensely blessed to be able to apply the education and wisdom I have been given over time and, more so, to be able to pay it to forward the same way many did to put me on a better footing mentally, emotionally.