Crowdsourcing Mornings Stuff

Crowdsourcing Mornings: Second Chance Studios

This is Crowdsourcing Mornings! This post takes place every weekday morning and highlights one crowdsourcing project I liked from Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or other crowdsourcing websites.

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Every year, 8,500 New Yorkers are released from prison — joining an estimated 139,000 New Yorkers on probation or parole. 53% of those released are rearrested within 3 years. Countless studies have shown that these formerly incarcerated individuals receive little to no training and guidance reentering the workforce — on top of the fact that their prior records (and gaps in employment) often serve as insurmountable barriers to joining the workforce. Those lucky enough to find work almost always land manual labor jobs. Job opportunities involving skilled work are practically nonexistent. According to the Brookings Institution, only 55% of formerly incarcerated people report earnings in their first year after release, and those who are employed have a median annual income of $10,000.

Meanwhile, the podcast industry is experiencing explosive growth. Podcast advertising revenue is projected to exceed $1B by 2021. Between 2015 to 2018, the industry experienced a 65% annual growth rate. Jobs and demand for skilled new media labor will increase commensurately with this historical, and anticipated, growth.

Enter Second Chance Studios: a nonprofit digital media company that trains and employs formerly incarcerated individuals, our “fellows”, in New York City. Our model is built on three pillars:

  •  Experiential learning: Fellows learn essential on-the-job skills by running a full-service digital media studio that will have on-site video production, audio engineering equipment
  •  Mentorship:  Fellows will be paired one-on-one with a mentor who is an expert in their field. Fellows will spend one day per week on-site at their mentor’s company, learning their craft from a successful practitioner.
  •  Job placement:  Once graduated from the program, participants will receive aggressive job placement assistance.

The studio will be a fully operational business, providing the following services:

  •  Original content creation: Fellows will produce their own podcasts and video content. Though they’ll be welcome to focus on their involvement within the criminal justice system, their content won’t necessarily be about their experience with incarceration.The content does not have to be germain to their experience as formerly incarcerated individuals.
  •  Podcast recording and production:  Fellows will be trained in audio engineering, editing, and storytelling.
  •  Video production:  Fellows will direct, produce, and edit videos for clients and for their own creative projects.
  •  Digital advertising:  Fellows will be trained on the design, deployment, and optimization of digital, email and social media marketing.

We will be providing under-resourced individuals with the tools, skills and opportunities they need to achieve financial independence by starting ventures or accessing living-wage employment in a high-growth industry.

As of July 1st, this project has raised $32,000 of their $50,000 goal. This project has 17 days left to raise the $50,000 or it will not be funded.  For a pledge of $10, you will get a virtual thank you.  For a pledge of $100, your name will be placed in their studio.  To learn more and to pledge money, go to:

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