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HISTORY OF GINA'S TEAM
June * GT had a meeting with State Representative Ceil Ash (Republican, Mesa) the Vice Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. The mission of Gina's Team was discussed, Representative Ash gave us his full support. This is where it all really started.
*A meeting with the Director of ADOC, Charles Ryan, was held. GT presented the idea of bringing in an educational program to Perryville prison. Rep. Ash was in attendance to show his support.
July * Gina's Team is officially registered with the Arizona Corporation Commission ! We are on our way.
August * ADOC Director Ryan approves the pilot program for Perryville.
September * Meeting with the Warden of Perryville, and Deputy Wardens to present our vision of the program. The group was supportive of the idea. In attendance was Brain Townsend, Senior Policy Advisor for the Az. Legislature, representing Rep. Ash.
December * Our first program at Perryville ! A workshop on Goal Setting was presented by Olympic Gold Medalist Misty Hyman (Sydney, 2000). In attendance was Raul Monreal, Director of South Maintain Community College. There were 125 women in the class. The Warden called it an unqualified success, so did we.
January * GT had first class of interns from ASU. They provided much needed support by designing social media, researching prison recidivism and educational programs, writing curriculum for volunteers, and teaching classes in civics and creative writing.
*Meeting with Perryville staff to lay out plans for the year. Will start in March.
February * GT presented a lecture for the Arizona Women Law Students Association.
*GT was invited to Mingus Mountain Academy, in Prescott, to speak to the students. MMA is a level one juvenile detention school for girls aged 12 to 18 years old. ASU intern Leah Heathcoat volunteered to manage this as a monthly activity.
March * GT was invited to speak to a group of probation officers about re-entry. They are working on developing some programs for re-entry.
* GT had the second class at Perryville. Representative Kyrsten Sinema spoke on leadership and civic responsibility. There were 125 women in attendance.
* We had our second event at Mingus, part of Women's History Month. This is now a monthly event we do.
April * ASU's College of Social Transformation invited GT to be a guest lecturer.
* OUT4LIFE Conference sponsored by Az. D.O.C. and Prison Fellowship, invited GT to attend on panel.
* INGNITE ASU selected 10 presenters to participate in their program, GT was one of the ten. ASU intern Liz Rivard gave a PowerPoint about GT, was posted on YouTube.
* Mingus-- was Poetry writing, presented by Selah Geissler, Grand Slam Poetry champ of Hawaii.
May * Met with Perryville's new Warden to review our program. This meeting was attended by ASU interns Liz Rivard and Leah Heathcoat, Alan Gomez, PhD, professor of Social Justice at ASU, and Maggie Sherwood, Area Director of Toastmasters International.
* 3rd program in Perryville was presented by Representatives Ash and Sinema, both serve on the Judiciary Committee and support GT.
* Mingus-- Renee Morgan Brooks thrilled the girls with music.
June * Gina's story, and letter to a 15 year old, was presented to University Middle School, an ASU nonprofit school. The topic was about choices we make that could land you in prison.
* 4th program in Perryville, volunteer, Isadora Dahlen, started an 8 week workshop about creative writing on Lumley yard.
* INGNITE Phoenix selected 18 presenters to participate in "The Art of Creative Writing in a Prison Wasteland", GT was selected as one of them. This was on YouTube.
* GT spoke at Hunnicutt Future Educator's Academy for ASU on prison, the criminal justice system and education.
* ADOC had meeting about possible program designed to train and support mentors for newly released inmates who have served a long sentence.
* 5th program at Perryville, "Fix the Hurt" founders, Linda & John King presented a short play on domestic violence, called Control, Assault, Delete.
* Mingus--Carrie Seather presented on creative writing.
July * Maricopa County Adult Probation had their quarterly forum, GT was invited to speak to about 110 people in this group.
* 6th class at Mingus was an art program with artist Vicki Florscheutz, who creates portraits of victims of abuse.
August * 6th program in Perryville, author Marilyn McGrath conducted a creative writing class for Life Skills on Santa Cruz yard.
* As part of the mentoring program research GT visited New Solutions Halfway House.
* 7th program in Perryville was ASU interns, Liz Rivard and David Hedges talking about civics on the Santa Maria yard twice a month.
* 8th program in Perryville, led by Olympic Gold Medalist Mist Hyman on goal setting, her second class for GT.
* Mingus--Gina's parents (Chris & Diane Panetta) telling Gina's story and how her choices impacted not only her life, but theirs and her 4 children's lives forever.
September * 9th program in Perryville, Alan Gomez, ASU, conducted a civics class for Life Skills on Santa Cruz yard.
* Judge Penny Willrich, at University of Phoenix Law School, invites GT to talk to the students.
* Mingus-- "Fix the Hurt" founder Linda King talking on Dating Violence.
October * GT starts a book drive to create a library at Mingus, they had about 20 books in their "library".
* The book "The Slumber Party From Hell", about life in prison, is released. Chapter one is about Gina.
* GT get it's website on line ! Thanks to Bryant Buschman, an ASU intern.
* Toastmasters International sent Wyatt Warp and Tom Cleary to help set up the "Gavel Clubs" on the yards, this is to be an on going class.
* Rochelle Balch, an award winning business owner spoke on employment and re-entry.
* Isadora Dahlen started her second 8 week class on creative writing on Lumley yard.
* GT speaks to ASU class on Women & Violence.
* Mingus--Panetta family project of making book markers now that the girls have books.
* ASU professor Alan Gomez speaks to the inmates about civics on Piestewa yard.
November * GT speaks to ASU class on Women & Crime.
December * Mingus--Panetta family organized a Christmas program for the girls, though State Farm Insurance 130 stuffed animals were collected and past out to the girls. Several of the girls tearfully told us that they had never owned a stuffed animal ! Grama's Bakery, in Prescott, donated 130 cookies for the girls. The Raven Café, in Prescott, volunteered to be the drop off place for the book drive. The initial drive resulted in over 800 books being donated.
* Fountain Hills Men's Discussion Group invited GT to speak at their meeting.
* Perryville--Martha Mayhood Mertz, founder of Athena International and author of "Becoming Athena", spoke to the inmates about the 8 principals the Athena International Award is based on. This is the starting point of our current program in Perryville that is still continuing.
* Leaders In Motion adopted GT to help us grow and serve as an interim Board until we get a permanent one.
January--* We received 8 interns from ASU.
* Mingus--We have now donated over 2,000 books to their library !
* Mingus--Martha Mayhood Mertz speaks to the girls on her 8 principals of leadership.
* GT met with Deputy Director Charles Flanagan. Proposed approval for the Athena program, as developed by GT with Martha. In attendance with GT were Martha, Misty Hyman, and Nicolas Katkevich.
* GT with Martha Mertz do an interview on FM 1010 radio.
February--* Isadora Hack starts 3rd 8 week class on creative writing on Lumley yard.
* GT speaks to ASU class on Women as Agents of Change.
* GT and the ASU interns attend the Entrepreneurial Women's Boot Camp.
* Prescott Library presents the donated books to Mingus !
* GT partners with ASU for the opening of "It's Not Just Black & White" at the ASU Art Museum.
* Perryville, Athena International award winner Dena Patton speaks to the inmates about setting boundaries.
* Mingus--As part of Black History Month Major Michelle Thomas, USAF, and Britanee Perkins, Miss Black Arizona 2009, spoke to the girls.
March--* GT starts the "Welcome Home" program, at the ASU Art Museum with Rep Cecil Ash, and Karen Hellman and Jan Weathers, from ADOC, speaking.
* GT speaks to Zonta Reginal Board of Directors about the purpose of Gina' s Team.
* GT speaks to the Phoenix Rotary 100 about the conditions and cost of confinement.
* Perryville--Misty Hyman speaks again to the inmates about goal setting.
* Mingus--Dena Patten spoke on boundaries.
April--* Women's Radio Network interviews GT.
* Zonta State Seminar invites GT to speak again.
* Let's Go To Prison event to raise awareness about the conditions in prison, with a round table discussion about it.
* Perryville--Linda & John King speak on Control, Assault, Delete.
* Mingus-- Misty Hyman talked about goal setting.
May--* Dove of the Desert Methodist Church invited GT to speak about cost & conditions of prison.
* The National Advocacy and Training Network conducted training for our volunteers with the "Welcome Home" program.
* Az. channel 3 airs story about Gina's Team. (http://www.azfamily.com/news/Gina's -Team-122374394.html)
* Mingus--Guest Vicki Mullins, author of "I Want You to Know Me".
June--* Our first official program in Perryville of the Gina's Athena Team classes ! Martha Mertz taught the class. This is basically the same program we conduct 3 times a year for 6 weeks each session.
* Mingus--was cancelled due to security reasons.
* Perryville--Brittanee Perkins returned to talk about professional image for release.
November--Two of our volunteers, Charlene and Romelle, started a program called "Welcome Home". When an inmate that graduated from our program was released they would pick up the ones who had no ride. These 2 ladies then bought them either a breakfast, or a lunch and drove them to places such as the DMV, their halfway house, Social Security, places they needed to go to. They also collected donated clothing for the women, and when possible gave them bus passes and personal items. During the 4 years they ran this program they help about 100 women get started on their new life.
February-- ATHENA International of Arizona, ATHENA Valley of the Sun, awarded Gina's Team their Founders award for the year.
more to come !