Former incarcerated individual aspires to become an entrepreneur through courses learned by Lantern and Ashland University

Securus Technologies’ “Improving Lives From the Inside Out” Profile Series Part Eleven

This latest installment of the “Improving Lives From the Inside Out” series highlights how Securus Technologies’ Lantern helps a former incarcerated individual pursue a reentry profession. Securus’ Lantern learning management and education platform in partnership with Ashland University provides nearly 70 courses for incarcerated individuals to be able to achieve either a bachelor’s or associate’s degree. Since its inception, this changemaking technology has given over 170,000 incarcerated residents, the opportunity to get a university education to help prepare them for a successful reentry. There have been over 1,000,000 course enrollments since Lantern’s inception.

This profile focuses on Tyrone Rogers who was released from the Northern Regional Correctional Facility in West Virginia in April of 2018. He is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in communications with specific career goals. While he was serving his time, he was inspired to help fellow incarcerated individuals by being a tutor. Now, he wants to continue that practice.

“I would like to be a site director for a college reentry program or a counselor to help men and women who want to better themselves,” said Rogers. “I would like to help people do something positive with their lives.”

He thanks Lantern for helping him make the path for this own transformation much easier. It was the technology, he says, that made a positive impact, on his job search.

“Through [Securus’] Lantern, there are video production classes of your mock interviews, so you’re not shocked by the interview process,” Rogers stated. “The program provides the means to obtain the skills for jobs.”

He is actually working two jobs while finishing his degree, and through his communication skills, he makes it known to his supervisors that he is very interested in working his way up the career ladder, after he proves himself with hard work.

“I’m positioning myself for a management role. The Lantern degree program I am studying has taught me the communications skills needed in the business world to obtain a higher position,” stated Rogers.

He feels the program continues to have a positive impact on his work performance on a daily basis. For Rogers, being released and getting a job was not just about making money. It was about creating a new life that he could be proud of.

“With the Lantern communications program, it prepared me to conduct myself as a better candidate for a job. I take the courses not just to get a position but also to improve myself,” Rogers emphasized. “I think the interviewers can tell if someone has that shine, that they’re doing something to change themselves, not just looking for a job. I also mentioned I was looking for a management position. When you do that, a door opens.”

Rogers envisions himself one day as a business owner. He explains that through Lantern’s entrepreneurship course, he learned how to be his own boss. The curriculum taught him how to start a business and get loans. Rogers even mentions he had to create a mock business and adds, he got an “A” on the project.

“Lantern gives you a sense of purpose and direction. Its allows you to narrow your focus on what’s important, first— being a responsible human being, second— family, third—longevity,” Rogers said. This is what my education has given me, a long-term look at how I want to live my life.”

While he was at the Huttonsville Correctional Center in West Virginia, he learned braille and became a certified transcriber. While serving his sentence, he worked for the West Virginia Correctional Industries Braille Program. That experience has impacted his goals. Along with aspiring to have a career at a university in the future, he also hopes to have his own business by being an independent certified braille transcriber.   

“[Securus’] Lantern, Ashland University, and their re-entry counselors filled me with hope that someone will offer me the opportunity to better myself. It allows me to prove that I can be a productive individual again, if given a chance.”

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