This week the Avedis Foundation gave Mabel Bassett Correctional Facility a $51,400 grant to help fund its R.I.S.E. Program.

This week the Avedis Foundation gave Mabel Bassett Correctional Facility a $51,400 grant to help fund its R.I.S.E. Program.

R.I.S.E. has successfully established and operated Oklahoma's first Cosmetology school in a women's prison for nearly two years, serving the 1,400 woman and staff at Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud.

The program operates on a daily basis, training selected students in the field of Cosmetology, allowing them to test at the facility on a state level with the Oklahoma Cosmetology Board, which will provide them with their Oklahoma State license.

Upon release from prison, graduates will be able to live in transitional housing with immediate job placement. The second class is set to graduate in July, with a third class slated to begin in August.

The program helps to bridge the gap from prison to society and has a Re-entry Resource Center which houses supplies and a clothing closet.

“We continue to stand beside the graduates by meeting with them, encouraging, offering recovery support, and mentorship,” R.I.S.E. Program Director Christie Luther said.

She said no one really wants to be judged by their worst mistake for the rest of their lives.

“It is my greatest joy to help usher them into life full of second chances, grace, and hope,” Luther said.

Kathy Laster, Avedis Foundation president and CEO, said it is extremely rewarding for the Foundation to assist the graduates of this program through this grant. “The board and staff take pride in the fact that these women, once released, have earned a hand up to support them as they get reacquainted with society,” she said.

To support the perpetual mission of this organization, both now and in the future, donations can be made directly to R.I.S.E. Program Inc.

The Avedis mission is to measurably improve health, wellness and the quality of life for the people of Pottawatomie County and surrounding areas.

For more information, visit www.avedisfoundation.org.