Eight Million Stories provides comprehensive support to previously incarcerated youth, helping them stay out of prison and on a path to success.
Young people, especially young men of color, are disappearing—from schools, from communities, from the workforce. Fueled by zero tolerance policies and in-school policing, the school-to-prison pipeline is sweeping disproportionately high numbers of youth into the criminal justice system. For many, it is the start of a lifelong cycle of poverty and imprisonment: Juvenile offenders who lack support and employment prospects upon release often struggle to re-enter society and face a high risk of recidivism.
We believe young people belong in school, not in prison. 8 Million Stories is an alternative education program that seeks to upend the school-to-prison pipeline by supporting previously incarcerated youth as they re-enter their community and curbing unnecessary referrals from schools to the justice system. Working with local businesses and organizations, we will empower vulnerable youth to succeed in school and beyond through a holistic educational experience grounded in academics, vocational skills training and social-emotional development.
In our inaugural year, we will serve up to 40 students ages 16 and older who have experience with the juvenile justice system in Houston, Texas. Our program is completely voluntary, so students only enroll after opting in and confirming their commitment in a two-week on-boarding session.