Georgetown Pivot program graduates second cohort

The Georgetown Pivot Program recently graduated its second cohort of fellows, gathering for a virtual end-of-year celebration on July 16. 

The 10-month Pivot Program is a partnership between Georgetown University and the D.C. Department of Employment Services, with support from the Minority Business Development Association at the U.S. Department of Commerce. The program serves returning citizens in Washington, D.C., by providing training in business and entrepreneurship, as well as work experience. 

Related: Georgetown Pivot Program preparing formerly incarcerated individuals for employment >

After 10 months, 305 classroom hours, and 105 virtual hours, this cohort of 16 Pivot Fellows graduated prepared for business and professional success and to be changemakers in their community. 

Damien Dwin (MSB’97), CEO of Brightwood Capital Advisors, delivered the graduation address. Other speakers included Professor Michael G. Ryan, who was selected by the class as the faculty speaker; Dr. Unique N. Morris-Hughes, director of the D.C. Department of Employment Services; and Dr. Paul Almeida, dean of the Georgetown McDonough School of Business. 

‘Having a vista that is more than a cell’

Pivot Fellows Antonio Arnett and Chandra Adams were chosen by their cohort as student graduation speakers. (See a video of the virtual ceremony.) “I’m a firm believer that your past doesn’t define your future,” Arnett said, describing his own personal journey. “When I received the acceptance email, I was ecstatic. I was no longer inmate #39734-007; I was now Georgetown Pivot Fellow Mr. Antonio Arnett. And once I entered the classroom, I knew there was no turning back. I was finally in the company of like-minded individuals who all wanted change.” 

Related: Pivot Program recognized as one of 25 ‘Innovations That Inspire’ >

Adams reminded the fellows to always dream big. “What separates Pivot Fellows from the many others who’ve returned to society is not simply what we dream, but what we do,” Adams said. “We make the world more like our dreams; having a vista that is more than a cell.” Adams, along with Tony McCright, another recently graduated Pivot Fellow, also recently spoke with NBC about how the Pivot Program has helped them become entrepreneurs. 

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