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Green careers can provide a new way forward after prison » Yale Climate Connections


Kerry Vadasz was sent to prison when she was 20. For years behind bars, she struggled to find direction.

But she says her life changed when she got involved with an environmental literacy and green job training program called Roots of Success.

Vadasz: “It offers opportunity for men and women to actually find a path forward in their life and not have to go back to their old lives.”

Roots of Success is offered at prisons, schools, and job training centers. It exposes participants to career paths in renewable energy, green building, clean transportation, and other environmental fields.

People also learn job-readiness skills such as writing a resume or preparing for an interview.

According to outside research, the vast majority of graduates say they are more informed about green career paths and more prepared to pursue them.

Now out of prison, Vadasz plans to continue working with Roots of Success, training others to teach the program. And she’s applying for a training program in solar panel installation instruction.

Vadasz: “I think that Roots of Success allows people to find their own power. … It allows them to actually see that … they can actually have a meaningful income with a meaningful career and have a meaningful life.”

Reporting Credit: Sarah Kennedy / ChavoBart Digital Media





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