LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Graduates of the ‘Hope for Prisoners’ program received a certificate and handshake from President Donald J. Trump on Thursday, Feb. 20 at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department headquarters.
Jon Ponder, Hope for Prisoners CEO and Founder welcomed special guests and graduation ‘Hopefuls’ with an opening statement to introduce the President.
Trump has recognized Jon Ponder nationally for the organization’s effort to positively reintegrate formerly incarcerated people.
“We are very honored the President of the United States is recognizing the hard-work of formerly incarcerated men and women here in the state of Nevada who are making their transition back into our community,” said Jon Ponder.
Watch live stream of commencement address below:
When Jon Ponder set out on his mission to help formerly incarcerated re-enter the community ten years ago, he reimagined how to give people a chance to transform their lives after they are released.
The program offers long-term support and guidance for those who learned from their mistakes and commit to making changes.
The nonprofit provides clients with life-skills, job training, mentorship, and counseling. Upon graduation, they commit to an 18-month long program working with mentors and businesses willing to employ those looking for job opportunities.
Mayor Carolyn Goodman delivered the oath graduates repeated prior to President Trump taking the stage to deliver the “Hope for Prisoners’ commencement address.
To date, ‘Hope for Prisoners’ has graduated more than 3100 formerly incarcerated.
Graduation photo gallery: