Jennifer Browning – How has TLM positively impacted your life?

Jennifer Browning was a student in the first cohort in Indiana at the Indiana Women’s Prison. Upon release, she enrolled in the Full-Stack Software Engineering program at Kenzie Academy in Indianapolis. She graduated with a Full-Stack Engineering Certification from Kenzie and worked in an apprenticeship for Kenzie Studio, the company’s consulting arm. Jen is now a Full-Stack coder in Indianapolis.

Jennifer Browning Tlm Alumni
How did participating in The Last Mile set you apart within the prison system?

The prison system is designed to make offenders feel shame for breaking the law in hopes we won’t want to come back. Participating in the TLM program set me apart in prison giving me hope for a brighter, better future without shame, guilt, or embarrassment. Everyone involved helped me build a foundation for change and they created an environment where I could feel proud of my story and hard work. Being part of a program that fosters professionalism, collaboration, communication, and accountability made me feel valued and respected when I was at my lowest.

What lessons & tools did you gain in The Last Mile Classroom? 

I have always loved to learn. The core curriculum teaches software development skills (HTML/CSS, Javascript, React, Node, etc.) and I found problem-solving, analytical thinking and the freedom to be creative with design invigorating. Pair programming, and being part of a team made me feel like I did in college 20 years ago. TLM was a perfect deterrent from how complicated my life had become and created a mindset to help me remember that I am not just my mistakes in life. There is a lot of good to contribute as well, and those parts of me should not be overshadowed. 

How has TLM positively impacted your life after incarceration?

After my release, I wanted to continue learning and growing. TLM helped me find Kenzie Academy in Indianapolis and I recently graduated from Kenzie’s year-long Full-Stack engineering program. I now have two communities within the tech industry who unconditionally support me and help me push the stereotypical wall of judgment that comes with incarceration down on a daily basis. It’s extremely powerful and profound to be surrounded by others who care so deeply about my future. I am grateful and blessed to be a member of the TLM family and I look forward to supporting and encouraging others to do the same. 

Darkness cannot drive out darkness…only light can do that. TLM was my light.