Persevere began in 2012, even before it became incorporated as a non-profit organization, with one man’s desire to help others who were less fortunate than he was. Our founder, the Chief Executive Officer in a technology company, found himself in jail as the result of drug addiction. When he emerged from the ordeal, clean and sober since then, he realized that he could earn a living because he had advanced technology skills and the soft skills that help people get and keep work, but many others with criminal records, even those with non-violent criminal records, could not. Doors were closed on them at almost every company to which they applied simply because of their criminal records. Also, most did have the skills necessary to qualify for skilled jobs, so even if they could find a job, it was usually a low paying one, rarely enough to support a family. He started working with men in this situation one at a time, helping them learn computer skills and then giving them a job with his company. One became two, and then many, but he soon realized that the difference he could make one man at a time was valuable, but not as effective as if he could develop an organization to serve many. That’s how it started, and Persevere was registered as a non-profit 501(c)(3)organization in 2014.
Founder of Persevere
Sean Hosman is the Founder of Persevere, building the organization from his own experience as an ex-offender and his desire to help others. For the past twenty years, Sean has pioneered reform in criminal justice systems throughout the United States as the CEO of Vant4ge. He has been a leader in creating, developing, and implementing advanced, system-wide frameworks for evidence-based practices, including tools, instruments, technology, policy and practice, and ultimately, outcomes. Sean started with juvenile justice systems, in 1998, working with the Washington State Institute for Public Policy and the Washington Association of Counties to develop and implement the country's first fourth generation juvenile risk and needs assessment and case planning system. From this initial work, he has continued to develop and implement increasingly advanced implementation platforms, in both juvenile delinquency and adult corrections systems, specializing in state and local departments of juvenile justice and corrections. Sean's work has evolved to encompass the entire continuum of correctional care, or Rehabilitative Life Cycle, specializing in the continuity of data-driven decision making throughout entire systems, from arrest, jail, probation, community corrections, prison or residential supervision, to parole and aftercare. Mr. Hosman holds a Juris Doctorate from Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark School of Law and is a member of the Utah and Colorado State Bars, and the American Bar Association.
Stacey Books-Mesko is the Program Manager and the heart of Persevere. As Program Manager, she is responsible for the day-to-day implementation and management of Persevere’s coding and employment programs within institutions and community agencies. Ms. Books-Mesko is well acquainted with the skills, perseverance, and support ex-offenders need to succeed in the job market and community. Not only does she have 17 years of experience in the human resources and management fields, but she is an ex-offender herself, and she is committed to helping others move beyond their pasts to create successful futures for themselves. Under her leadership, Persevere has the best blend of technical expertise, inspiration, and ongoing support that participants will need to change their lives.
Meet Sean, Our CEO
In order to address "the ways we think about prison and how that can change prison," the focus must be on how we think about prisoners and prison staff, and employing the most advanced and scientifically-proven methods for creating sustainable behavior change in both. Professionals, or Pros, should be the only ones dealing with Convicts, or Cons. We need to support and develop the Pros in order to be able to change the Cons.