Founded in the Spring of 2012, A Social Ignition started by working with several groups to help enhance their ability to fulfill their missions in the field of reentry. After engaging the ecosystem and learning what was working and what wasn’t, what was being done and what was missing, Founder Sonja Skvarla developed a cirriculum of entrepreneurship and professional development and offered it to the Oregon Department of Corrections. It took a year to earn permission to conduct the class at Columbia River Correctional Institution in Portland, OR, but the relationship continues to flourish as both parties are interested in seeing a successful transition for men returning to the community. We have been running programs inside since July 2014 and are looking forward to expanding our offerings soon.
A Social Ignition by the Numbers
7 graduated cohorts
44 graduates of The Ignition Option
21 active members of The Long Haul
7 graduate businesses in development
Since beginning programing on the inside, Sonja has joined forces with a dynamic Board of Directors including, Natalya Pemberton and Kevin DeWhitt. Bryant Leman provides coaching inside with The Long Haul program.
A Social Ignition Press
- Man leaves behind criminal past to start food cart – Portland Tribune–Jun 2, 2015
- This Portlander’s crowdfunding campaign seeks to turn a life around Portland Business Journal (blog)–May 22, 2015
- Entrepreneurs on the inside: Inmates learn ‘the power of choice‘ – Street Roots-Dec 10, 2015
- Sunday Conversation: A Social Ignition Founder, Sonja Skvarla – Oregon Public Broadcasting (radio)-Nov 29, 2015
- Teaching entrepreneurshi
p in prison: Learning how to run a business from behind bars – GeekWire (blog)-Nov 5, 2015