A loan of $5,000 helped create the tools to empower our community and the Collaborative Benefit network to get out there and be a part of the change that we want to see. We are powerful.

Tulio's story

I am a Business Analyst at KickLabs in San Francisco, an awesome place with awesome people to learn from. I am also a formerly incarcerated person. Currently I am an alumni member of The Last Mile (www.thelastmile.org) and the first of many “free” success stories to come from this program. I am also the founder of Collaborative Benefit.

I’ve been able to do and be where I am because of a lot of supportive people. Overcoming challenges was something that I had to learn how to do. My previous choices lead me to lose everything that I thought was once valuable including the skin off my own back. I've had new realization about life. Kids take choices, adults make decisions.

A good while ago someone taught me to ask myself, “What do I need to do here and now?” and then showed me how to apply and reapply that towards my life decisions. I’m very thankful for that lesson, it was the insight which showed me the value of our group experiences and how they can help each of us.

Since then, I’ve been a student; of life, books, people & the “self”.

I’m founding Collaborative Benefit because I believe that people who have been incarcerated and have learned that same lesson can benefit from a chance to share their experiences and return home empowered with the tools and drive to be valuable to society. I’m interested in helping people who don’t take choices anymore but rather made the decision to “Be the change you want to see in the world.” That means helping employers and communities be that change. That means helping people who are passionate about making a pivot in their lives and be that change too. In whole, that’s why this is called “Collaborative Benefit,” because we are all a part of that change we want to see.

That’s a bit about my past and what’s driven me to move forward into the future. As for today, I'm passionate about programming and have stayed up for many hours into the night, starting back during my time in a prison cell reading .Net books and loving it… now it’s open-source. Sites like Coursera, Khan Academy, and Stackoverflow; oh how I love thee! I love tech, appreciate transparency, and love to balance out my life with my family, my girlfriend, and her two beautiful girls.

Recently I’ve heard, “It's amazing how much you find you don't know, when you try to explain something to someone else. You find the gaps, you find stuff you didn't know you didn't know.” Interestingly enough, this has been teasing me to start blogging about everything I’m working on. I want to know what I don’t know and I like when people poke at my ideas. Let’s make things better. I’d love for this to come very soon.

On a closing note, I realize I’m very lucky to have been connected to people who have pushed, believed and helped me along the way. Based on what I know to be true, I am committed to helping one of the underserved challenges that I found to be most difficult, so that someone can have a great life like mine, after they’ve had life like mine.

We need to be a part of the community. We need mentors. We need to give back and break some stereotypes. We need a job.

I’ve walked the shoes, I know the pains, and I’m here to help.

Join me.

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About Collaborative Benefit

Industry: Services
Years in operation: New Business
Website: collaborativebenefit.org


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