Nonprofit Works To Break Cycle Of Incarceration, Poverty In Oklahoma

The Education and Employment Ministry, also known as TEEM, is an organization working towards breaking the cycle of incarceration and poverty in the state of Oklahoma. Reentry Site Supervisor, Lynde Gleason and Deneisha Lowery, a graduate of the program join us to share more about it.

Friday, March 29th 2024, 7:42 am

By: News On 6


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The Education and Employment Ministry, also known as TEEM, is an organization working towards breaking the cycle of incarceration and poverty in the state of Oklahoma.

Reentry Site Supervisor, Lynde Gleason and Deneisha Lowery, a graduate of the program join us on the Arca Continental Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages Porch.

CLICK HERE to learn more information about TEEM and its mission.

What is the mission of The Education and Employment Ministry (TEEM)?

"TEEM has actually been in existence for over 30 years. But we were working with at risk adults who needed help with employment and educational services. And what we were seeing is that there was a lot of individuals who had a felony conviction in their background, that were seeking our services. So what we did is we tailored to work specifically with individuals who have been impacted by the legal system and incarceration," Lynde said.

TEEM NonprofitImage Provided By: TEEM

"And what we do is we're able to work with those who are still currently incarcerated, and want some additional assistance. And we start working with them to provide those same educational and employment opportunities, those cognitive behavior skills, the communication, the healthy relationships, and building those networks, and also be able to provide like some career trainings as well," Lynde continued. "And so we do all this ahead of time alongside a case manager. They get assigned, and then continue to work with someone for at least a year after they get out, to make sure they have that support as they go through that first year of challenges and successes. And just make sure they have what they need from the community."

TEEM NonprofitImage Provided By: TEEM

How has TEEM personally helped you, Deneisha?

"The experience was really positive and uplifting. It gave me a lot of hope for the future upon my release date. And the staff there are amazing. They're very supportive and helpful. And also, I was given the opportunity to take the culinary arts training program through the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank, which then opened doors for me to more opportunities," Deneisha said.

TEEM Nonprofit Image Provided By: TEEM

What is life like for you now?

"Life for me is very meaningful and fulfilling. I have a really good job that helps me better my life. And it's just been great since I've been home getting back on my feet in the supportive team, facing challenges that normally I would face alone. But they've helped me work through those and it's been bettering for me," Deneisha said.

TEEM NonprofitImage Provided By: TEEM

What can the public do to support TEEM?

"I think we just need to remember that we're all Oklahomans and that we're a community. And we want to be able to assist people as they're returning to our community because we need one another. And so if someone was interested, certainly they could volunteer with us. So we certainly look for mentors and volunteers to kind of help support our fellow neighbors," Lynde said.

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