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Jefferson Trust Grants Funding to 16 UVA Programs - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Jefferson Trust Grants Funding to 16 UVA Programs

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The Prisoner Re-entry Education Initiative teaches inmates skills to prepare them for the workforce upon release. The Prisoner Re-entry Education Initiative teaches inmates skills to prepare them for the workforce upon release.

A program that teaches inmates entrepreneurial skills now has some extra funding to help push its initiative forward, thanks to the Jefferson Trust.

It's a class that has some rather untraditional students.

The Prisoner Re-entry Education Initiative in the Darden School of Business is teaching inmates skills to prepare them for the workforce once they are released.

"The program is designed to help those that are currently incarcerated who are ready to make an affirmative step to change their lives," said Gregory Fairchild, who leads the initiative.

The program is just two years old and now. Thanks to a nearly $50,000 grant from the Jefferson Trust, it can start to expand.

"We think we here at the University of Virginia can set an example for how other communities other colleges other universities can do the same type of work," Fairchild said.

The Jefferson Trust was founded seven years ago by the UVA Alumni Association in hopes of enhancing university programs.

"So very specifically we're looking for initiatives that are going to make this institution an exceptional institution," said Wayne Cozart, executive director of the Jefferson Trust.

Serving both Dillwyn and Fluvanna County, 12 masters students from the Darden School serve as volunteer instructors. They are teaching the inmates valuable skills.

"Learn how to create a business, how to be a gainfully employed person in an existing business, just how to be a better member of society," Fairchild said."

The group was awarded the money Friday afternoon on the steps of the Rotunda, along with 15 other recipients.

The amounts awarded today range from $2,500 to $150,000. Click here for a full list of recipients.

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