"I decided to create a program where I could take different peoples’ skills and turn them into passions," says Cornbread Hustle Founder Cheri Garcia, "and turn them into businesses by monetizing what they already know how to do very well."
CBH Is a 90-day transformation program that "helps convicted felons become entrepreneurs and find meaningful employment" as it says on the website.
"Former drug dealers make really good entrepreneurs because there’s the hustle, there’s tenacity, there’s resourcefulness when your back is up against the wall. You’re not afraid to go for anything."
And Garcia knows first hand that resourcefulness.
"I started hanging out with the wrong crowd, and I became addicted to drugs. I started dealing drugs to fuel my habit, in high school […] entreprenuerialship saved my life"
She wants to give that same experience to others willing to do the right kind of hustle.
"Week one, we start talking what is your passion, let’s get you set on the right path and right mindset, then it goes all the way into managing your social media, public speaking, building a business plan, all the way up to pitching in front of investors in a Shark Tank-like environment […] every three months I cry, it is so amazing and it’s such an inspiration not only to me but to other people involved."
Sounds like the slogan is right - "Silly Name, Serious Business."
Garcia says they’re taking applications now for their January class and while it’s completely free for participants. They do make money by placing students in their jobs as well as holding events and of course - literally by selling cornbread.
Anyone interested in applying or becoming a sponsor can visit the Cornbread Hustle website.