Digging Deeper: Expanding Chopping for Change
Digging Deeper: Expanding Chopping for Change, Cleveland, Ohio
- Sponsoring Organization: Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry
- City/State: Cleveland, Ohio
- Grant Program: Emerging Leader
- Grant Amount: $15,000
Elizabeth Stiles has dedicated her career to adult education and community development. She started at Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry (LMM), Cleveland, Ohio, in 2013 as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Drawn to the mission of “walking alongside those who are oppressed, forgotten, and hurting,” Stiles is now nearing her 10th year of service with LMM and currently serves as the Academic Programs Manager. In that role, she teaches several classes in the Workforce Development Culinary Training Program. She is also the Academic Dean and Registrar for LMM’s Culinary School, which has expanded under her guidance to include an 18-month Associate’s Degree track. Stiles is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Public Administration at Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio.
Ohio correctional institutions house nearly 45,000 individuals who recidivate at a rate of over 35%. Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry is committed to ending recidivism for incarcerated individuals in Ohio through the expansion of its Chopping for Change (C4C) program and other efforts to support successful reentry into community. C4C is an innovative prisoner reentry program that includes counseling, support services, and culinary arts training. It first began for women at Cleveland’s Northeast Reintegration Center in 2015 and the expansion to Grafton Correctional Facility is the first time C4C will include a male population. The Digging Deeper project will facilitate a participant observation study that will work to identify, strategize, and address the key challenges male workforce development program participants experience during their reentry journey from incarceration to community reintegration.