Sonja Skvarla, Redefining the Implementation of Rehabilitation

sonja-headshot-240x300Last May Springboard Innovation hosted the first Hatch:Soup—a unique event designed to benefit social entrepreneurs, and we were thrilled to welcome our finalist, Sonja Skvarla, into the Hatch community. Originally from Chicago, Sonja happened across an announcement for our little event and jumped at the opportunity to raise awareness and funds for her non-profit, A Social Ignition. Her project teaches entrepreneurship skills and strengthens connections with start-up and business communities.

All are welcome to enroll in the organization’s workshops, whether struggling with homelessness, long-term unemployment or legal discrimination due to criminal records. The project’s main focus, however, has been directed toward those currently incarcerated. A Social Ignition hopes to prevent released prisoners who struggle to reintegrate into society from falling back into crime.

One of the main goals is to help those released lead healthy, safe and productive lives when they leave prison. This is decreasing the risk of relapse through a systems approach to correctional education programs. Incarcerated individuals have the opportunity to get on their feet, stay on their feet and simultaneously break down boundaries of perception.

Since the spring of 2012, A Social Ignition has been working with several groups encouraging the entrepreneurial ecosystem in and around Oregon. After an entire year of working around red tape and establishing relationships with local correctional facilities, Sonja was happy to announce that the organization’s 12-course class would be kicking off July 7th at a jail near you.

Sonja is an extraordinary example of a community cultivator; she has been an innovative lead when it comes to Oregon’s correctional strategy and a fantastic fit in Hatch’s community of individuals and organizations. The key to success in this community is your participation. Reach out to Sonja today (now residing in Firebox 108), and talk to her about how you can get involved.