Jevonie Rogers – How has TLM positively impacted your life? October 3, 2023 Jevonie Rogers was TLM participant at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility. She is now a Software Engineer and T.A for Virtual Instruction for The Last Mile. “Jev” is a system-impacted youth passionate about using tech to break through barriers and provide opportunities to youth and people residing in urban communities. How did participating in The Last Mile set you apart within the prison system? Joining the coding program helped me realize there are several pathways to success. Before I joined the program I couldn’t wait to get out and go back to doing the same thing I was doing prior to my incarceration. As a TLM student, I met and networked with people that four or five years ago I would’ve never envisioned myself even speaking to. In addition to all of that, I was given the opportunity to speak at multiple events inside the facility and share my story with others. What lessons & tools did you gain in The Last Mile Classroom? Participating in the program taught me a lot of the soft skills I have now. I learned communication skills, patience and perseverance. The biggest thing I viewed myself as a patient person prior to joining the class but I found out fast that I wasn’t. My transformation was literally like day and night. I went from being someone who couldn’t work with people I wasn’t comfortable with and always wanted things done at a certain time and a certain way; to being able to work in teams and communicate effectively with my team members to complete our assigned projects. How has TLM positively impacted your life after incarceration? The one thing TLM has given me is hope and a different outlook on life. My transition hasn’t been easy, especially being incarcerated at a young age and coming home as an adult. Working with TLM I’ve been able to meet some amazing, supportive and positive people and I’m thankful for that.