Amalia’s Paving the Road to Success: TLM’s Q3 Highlight

Amalia is paving the road to success. From a challenging reentry to software engineer, hear from a TLM returned citizen advocate about Amalia’s journey.

“Less than 1 year after paroling from serving 15 years of a 15-to-life sentence in California, Amalia was hired as a Software Engineer Apprentice at Checkr. She was forced to take a break from programming while living in a transitional home where she was unable to access her computer.

The Last Mile’s reentry team remained in close contact with Amalia during this challenging time. Our weekly hour-long 1:1 meeting as her advocate was adjusted to 15 to 20 minute phone conversations during her breaks at Goodwill, where she worked as part of the transition home requirements. Amalia and I planned to get her prepared to pursue her goal of working as a software engineer. I recall the intense fear that Amalia expressed during their calls about ‘use it or lose it’ factors.


TLM provided Amalia with a laptop. As a team, we made sure it arrived the moment her initial restriction was lifted. This provided access to asynchronous online classes that she could use to refresh her skills. In addition to this, the reentry department connected her with a technical mentor to help her quickly skill-up quickly. Amalia used all these resources effectively, and was selected for a highly sought after apprenticeship with Checkr. The passion and grit Amalia demonstrated during the apprenticeship resulted in converting to full time as a ‘Jr. Engineer’ after only 6 months. The department she was assigned to was coding with Ruby on Rails, a programming language that was not taught by TLM or the additional bootcamp she had completed, so Amalia used the resources provided by TLM once again, to ensure that she exceeded expectations. Her hard work paid off as she was recognized for being in the top 5% highest performers in the organization during her first year with Checkr.

Most recently Amalia was once again promoted, giving her the title, ‘Software Engineer II’ earlier this year, only 18 months after starting as an apprentice. It was an incredible success, and I was able to congratulate Amalia in person at a Checkr volunteer event where over 80 software engineers volunteered their time to support The Last Mile. Both Amalia and the reentry manager were grateful to have a chance to reflect on the work they had done together, and how far Amalia has come in such a short period of time.

Amalia points to 3 main resources as the catalysts for her success: the laptop she received, Udemy courses, and her returned citizen advocate, all provided freely to Amalia by TLM as an alumnus of the program.”