Let’s paint a picture: In this dynamic realm of innovation, where technology and creativity meet social impact and service, we find a team dedicated to inclusivity, intersectionality, and the prosperity of changing people’s lives one step at a time. While we dedicate the entirety of our hearts and souls into our work, each day our team walks away from our offices with a cup more filled than ever before, feeling a sense of change within ourselves, and evoking the idea of hope within our own communities. This is our picture of humanity that we strive to paint in absolute detail.

My name is Gianfranco Silvestro, and I currently serve as the Program and Re-Entry Coordinator of a new program at Tarzana Treatment Centers College that aims to pave pathways and open doors for individuals who may have never had the opportunity to walk them before. Introducing the Ubuntu Rising Scholars Academy, a beacon of hope and support for the justice-impacted community seeking to rebuild their lives and enter back into their communities more inspired and invigorated than ever before. Committed to fostering empowerment and holistic well-being, our comprehensive array of resources aims to address the diverse needs of individuals on the path to re-entry.

At the heart of our mission is a dedication to creating community inspired synergies, shared visions, and providing vital resources for the justice-impacted community. Our list of offerings begins at home with our array of family planning resources, recognizing the utmost importance of nurturing strong foundations for individuals and their loved ones. Our recently developed food pantry resources ensure that no one in our community goes hungry, fostering a sense of security and stability so that one maintains the vigor needed to pursue and persist. Additionally, homeless resources are extended to those in need, offering a lifeline towards finding a place to call home, to rebalance, and to reset.

The Ubuntu Rising Scholars Academy is not just a steppingstone, but also serves as a launchpad for individuals seeking meaningful employment opportunities that may have not been on the offering table prior to their introduction to our rising program. Our job placement resources pave the way for career opportunities, empowering individuals to reclaim their place in the workforce. For those navigating the complexities of justice-impacted lives, our specialized resources offer comprehensive guidance and interconnected support throughout the re-entry process.

Embracing the essential and ever-increasing need to prioritize diversity and inclusion, we provide tailored resources for the LGBTQIA2-S+ community, recognizing and affirming the unique needs of each individual and the challenges they are faced with, and must overcome in this world. In collaboration with medical professionals both within our agency and among our growing community, our medical resources and referral offerings ensure that health is a priority on the journey to a brighter future where we can all become the change we wish to see and create in this world. Mental health and wellness resources are seamlessly woven into our extensive support network, acknowledging the paramount importance of emotional well-being.

In a society grappling with the relentless upsurge in living costs, our utility resources are designed to alleviate financial burdens, while clothing resources offer the dignity of proper attire for those who are positioned to commence the journey of seeking employment or career opportunities. Recognizing the intricacies of substance use disorders, our resources provide a compassionate and informed approach towards each individual’s recovery processes. Veterans seeking to reintegrate into civilian life can also experience a sense of belonging by connecting with a compassionate community through the specialized resources we offer that are available to our underserved veterans’ community.

Transportation resources bridge the gap between aspiration and accessibility, ensuring that no one is left behind. The Ubuntu Rising Scholars Academy is not merely a resource center; it’s a community-driven initiative, fostering resilience, hope, and a sense of belonging for all. Together, we rise, rebuilding lives and empowering futures.

In the relentless pursuit of addressing challenges such as hunger, homelessness, and the barriers faced by justice-impacted communities, our commitment is unwavering. While our responsibilities may seem to be far from over, we excel and exceed upon these expectations. The warmth and appreciation we receive from those we serve continually replenish our spirits. As such, we extend an open invitation to both those in need and our valued community partners to stand alongside us in this collective effort. By joining forces, we believe in not only alleviating immediate hardships but also fostering a sense of unity that transcends traditional boundaries. We aspire to create a space where the closed doors for the justice-impacted are flung wide open, and individuals impacted by adversity can find not only support but also the tools to pay it forward in ways that are both creative and inspiring. Through understanding who we are and embracing what we offer, we endeavor to cultivate a community that thrives on compassion, innovation, and the transformative power of collective action.

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