WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 137 of 195

good works "a positive reflection" During his E101 course with Venturing Out, Mark Gibson wrote a business plan to start an online talent agency, which he currently manages in the South End of Boston. especially high correlation. Many states began experimenting with prison entrepreneur train- ing in the early 2000s as a way to teach self-employment skills. By 2010, more than 30 states offered such programs, Texas being by far the largest and most established. Recidivism rates there dropped. Winig points out that the curriculum taught in many programs, however, is drawn from mate- rials aimed at teaching monetary skills to children (lemonade stands and allowances, for exam- ple) and does not reflect the realities of adult offenders behind bars. She believes that it is better to incorporate role models in whom participants can find a positive reflection of themselves. Venturing Out actively seeks guest speakers who have served time but have gone on to run their own small businesses. It also employs volunteer writers who craft case studies that mirror back more of the inmates' experiences. Like Harvard Business School, Entrepreneurship 101 teaches via the case method. Cases typically feature former prisoners, such as Randy Kearse, who rose from convicted drug dealer to self-made publisher who sold his books on the subways of New York. For those who have the entrepreneurial skills but no teaching experience, Entrepreneurship 101's case method and clear curriculum guidelines help new volunteers feel comfortable taking the reins in the classroom. This was the case for Vicki Rellas, a self-described "serial entrepre- neur" who had run her own Dunkin' Donuts franchises, taught kindergarten, and helped a bit with her husband's dental practice in Wellesley. As a recent empty nester, Rellas has become increasingly interested in volunteering — espe- cially with adults. She agreed to be a guest speaker for Entrepreneurship 101 at the South Middlesex Correction Center for Women in Framingham. She said her own stereotype of what a prisoner is or should look like was stripped away that first night. "If it wasn't for the prison 136 WellesleyWeston Magazine | summer 2012 CAITLIN CUNNINGHAM

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