Robert Hernandez is a TUMI student who has graduated and is giving back to the community. Almost 3 decades ago Robert found himself in serious trouble that resulted in a long prison term, which changed his life forever. During his time of incarceration, he had a lot of growing up to do, a lot of time to think, and plenty of time to learn how to make choices.
One of the most important choices that Robert made was to enroll into the TUMI program and to stick with it until he graduated. Robert spent hundreds of hours of study and earned 32 college credits for his labor. This TUMI Program taught Robert how to be an effective leader, which is something he has brought to the community now that he is paroled from prison.
In Southern California, one of Serving California’s partners, Training Center, piloted a program called Giving Life Back to Lifer’s. In the simplest terms, this is a program were previously incarcerated men who have served various sentences such as 25 to life become peer-to-peer mentors for other Parolee’s who are recently released from California prisons. This pilot program has made such a deep impact on the Parolee population here in San Diego County that the Parole department has enveloped it with open arms.
Robert Hernandez (pictured above) as he teaches a class of Parolees on the importance of choices and boundaries. These classes have been so remarkable for the participants that the classroom is now full beyond capacity. Each month a group of 38 to 42 Parolee’s come together, along with at least two of the Parole Agents, to receive a lesson delivered from a previously incarcerated person.
I visit these classes each month, and like a proud parent, I continuously see men who have been involved in the TUMI program leading these classes. They have taken their education in Christian leadership and applied it to a secular world of Parolee’s, and at every opportunity, the truth of what changed their lives is expressed.
TUMI, The Urban Ministry Institute, is specifically designed to raise up Christian leaders who can impact your communities. This Parole program of peer-to-peer mentoring is only one example of TUMI students exercising the tools they have been provided through Serving California in partnership with Prison Fellowship and World Impact Ministry.
If you were interested in learning more about Serving California and or the TUMI program, take a look at our website for more testimonies and stories of success.