In 2020, I spoke with Jerry Lundergan, an influential business leader from Lexington, Kentucky.
Jerry has an extensive history of community involvement and working to open opportunities for others. He has built businesses that created jobs for more than 10,000 people.
When I went to visit Jerry in Lexington, I told him about one of the great problems afflicting our country. As a person that had gone through 26 years of imprisonment, I wanted to work toward improving outcomes for people that go through the criminal justice system. I asked for his help.
Jerry asked what he could do.
First, I said, I wanted him to help me create a curriculum that we could use to teach others. Then, I said, I wanted his help to build an entity to make a bigger impact. To spread his teachings to people in jails and prisons across America, I’d need a plan.
Wanting to contribute, Jerry authored Hard Work and Goodwill. Through that book, he showed readers the way that he transformed his life from the challenges of poverty to becoming one of the most successful independent businessmen in the United States. Feel free to click the link below to download a copy of Jerry’s book.
Besides writing and publishing his book, Jerry created a 10-part course. We’ve use that course to teach and inspire people in jails and prisons across America.
In addition to volunteering hundreds of hours to write his recipe for success, Jerry provided seed capital and guidance to launch the Prison Professors Charitable Foundation. Without his initial contribution, we would never have gotten off the ground.
Mahatma Gandhi advised that we all should strive to live as the change that we want to see in the world.
I am grateful to Jerry for helping me get the nonprofit off the ground. With his leadership, we’ve brought others into our program. They all share one trait in common—they’re leaders who want to improve outcomes for people that have gone through the criminal justice system. As a result of the time that Jerry spent with me, more than 100,000 people across the United States can now access the Prison Professors programs.
And as shown below, we’ve received donations to spread the work from others. And our small company, Earning Freedom, is making donations as well. We’re using those resources to help more people in jail and prison prepare for law-abiding lives, and also to create income opportunities for formerly incarcerated people.
Through our nonprofit, we’ve disbursed more than $125,000 in income to formerly incarcerated people—and we’re growing. Those people are learning job skills, and making progress toward full independence from the criminal justice system. With support from our sponsors, and from our company, we’ll continue working to improve outcomes for people that have gone through the criminal justice system.
Jerry continues to mentor me, and we’re grateful for his contributions to the advisory board member of our nonprofit.
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation: $20,000 Donation
In 2017, Dr. Brant Choate, a leader at the California Department of Corrections had the courage to bring our programs into the state’s prison system.
As a result of support from Dr Choate and his team at CDCR, our team at Prison Professors has produced more than 200 hours of educational content to teach and inspire people in prison. Every person in the state of California prison system can access Prison Professors courses.
Today, our company, Earning Freedom, received a $20,000 check from the State of California as compensation for those programs. And today our company donated 100% of that check to the Prison Professors Charitable Corporation.
Our non-profit organization will use these resources to support our mission of preparing more people in prison for law-abiding, contributing lives upon release. We never ask anyone to do anything that we’re not doing. And we’re working to be the change that we want to see in the world.
Mission of our Nonprofit
We express our gratitude to all of the courageous educators and leaders at #CDCR, especially Dr. Brant Choate, Dr. Matika Rawls, and Dr. Patrick O’Neill. They allow us to make a bigger impact on society and be the change that we want to see in the world. We share what we’ve learned from leaders.
Together, along with all of the sponsors that support our work, we hope to improve outcomes for people that experience the criminal justice system and to build safer communities.
We’re grateful to all of the people that have contributed resources to our nonprofit. We use these resources to further the nonprofit’s mission, which includes:
- Creating a library of digital courses that administrators can use to teach and inpsire people in jails and prisons.
- Create distribution systems so that more people in jails and prisons across the nation can learn how to overcome the challenges that accompany a criminal charge.
- Provide income streams for the formerly incarcerated people that work on our team.
- Build awareness on the injustices of mass incarceration, and the collateral consequences that follow.
- Use social media to create awareness on why mass incarceration hurts people at every level of our society.
- Create social media campaigns that lessen the collateral consequences of mass incarceration.
- Create bridges that help more formerly incarcerated people transition into the job market, or to reach their highest potential as law-abiding, contributing citizens.
The table below shows the contributions we’ve received from others. Showing that we never ask anyone to do anything that we’re not doing, we’re also showing the contributions that our small company, Earning Freedom, has made to sustain the Prison Professors Charitable Corporation—a 501c3 nonprofit.
Please contact us today if you’d like to contribute.
Record of All Contributions to our Nonprofit
|Date||Source||Financial Donation From|
|Financial Donation From|
|12/01/21||Earning Freedom Corp||$25,000|
|11/13/21||EDS Holding Company||$30,000|
|11/12/21||Earning Freedom Corp||$10,000|
|11/05/21||Earning Freedom Corp||$5,000|
|11/04/21||Earning Freedom Corp||$10,000|
|11/03/21||Earning Freedom Corp||$10,000|
|10/27/21||Earning Freedom Corp||$20,000|
|10/15/21||Earning Freedom Corp||$10,000|
|8/17/21||EDS Holding Company||$12,500|
|7/23/21||Schmuel Jewish Foundation||$20,000|
|6/15/21||EDS Holding Company||$12,500|
|1/15/21||EDS Holding Company||$10,000|
|2020||Earning Freedom Corp (initial capital)||$10,000|
|Total Donations as of 12/01/21||$120,000||$100,000|
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