This week we’re highlighting Arouet, an Arizona-based nonprofit whose mission is to provide education assistance, workforce development, and job opportunities to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women who are sincere about working hard to change their livelihood. Kathleen is joined by Alison Rapping, Arouet’s CEO, and Danielle Hughes, who works in Second Chance Employer Outreach. In part one, Alison talks about the foundation’s mission and origin, and Danielle shares the inspiring story that led her to Arouet.
About Alison Rapping: Alison is CEO of the Arouet Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting, mentoring, and training women who are, or have been, involved in America’s justice system. Arouet provides comprehensive resources including an innovative reentry program inside ADCRR’s Perryville Prison, a robust financial opportunity center, employment services, leadership development, and community advocacy and education to help support practical, innovative, and humane solutions in building successful reentry services and promoting criminal justice reform.
A recognized leader in the nonprofit community, she brings more than 25 years of nonprofit experience to her work; She supports nonprofits & community collaborations to be effective, innovative, and well-resourced. She specializes in board development, fund development, advocacy, nonprofit management, and program design and implementation.
Ms. Rapping served as CEO of the Alliance for Arizona Nonprofits, where she oversaw the successful launch of this new statewide organization focused on promoting, supporting, and serving Arizona’s nonprofit community. She invested 13 years of her professional career with HandsOn Greater Phoenix, a nonprofit dedicated to mobilizing volunteers and developing and managing innovative community programs. While at HOGP, she served on the National Board of Directors for HandsOn Network. Ms. Rapping also, supported with her brother Jonathan Rapping and Ilham Askia, the development of Gideon’s Promise, a national organization that strengthens public defenders by providing comprehensive resources that improve the quality of representation for the clients and communities they serve. She provided strategic and fundraising counsel, and served as faculty training on community engagement, fostering healthy workplace relationships, and gender equity. On behalf of Hands on Network, Alison traveled to Zimbabwe, South Africa, Korea, and the Gulf Coast to support & provide organizational development and fundraising training to organizations interested in creating HandsOn Network models of service.
Ms. Rapping served as the Vice Chair for the City of Phoenix Commission on Housing and Neighborhoods, has been a member of the City of Phoenix Bond Committee, Chair of the City of Phoenix CDGB review panel, and has served on the BODs for numerous community organizations. She was named to The Business Journal’s Inaugural ‘40 Under 40’ class of emerging leaders and is a graduate of Valley Leadership. Ms. Rapping received her MPA from the UMASS-Amherst.
About Danielle Hughes: Danielle was born in San Jose, California and from the age of 6 spent almost 7 years living with her family on a 64ft long sailboat, named Crystal Clear. During a stop in Argentina, at the age of 11, she was attacked and sexually assaulted by a predator. As a result of this attack, she suffered both physical and psychological trauma that has rippled throughout her life. After this attack, she spent years when she was not able to process what had happened to her. Danielle’s health deteriorated over these years, and she relied on more and more medications and substances to fix it, but only made her sicker. After suffering another rape at 26, Danielle found herself blessed with the greatest gift, her daughter, SterlingRose.
Her father’s untimely death in a motorcycle accident was the catalyst for her serving a yearlong sentence in a California prison for attempting to illegally acquire prescription medications. From the day of her release, her mom took her to Arizona. Here, she was eventually sentenced to another term in prison for another five and half years after falling into a very abusive relationship. While she served her time, she discovered a passion for teaching and health and wellness in prison. Danielle began working out for the first time and started to teach those around her how to do it as well. This brought her clarity about her health, mind, and her relationships with others. Danielle was also hand-picked by the Deputy Warden to teach a Substance Abuse & Co-Dependency Class for the last 3 years of her sentence. She eventually went from one class to three classes Saturday and Sunday to accommodate the long waiting list. She also brought yoga to the women who wanted a well round way to heal. Danielle was released in July 2019, and since coming home she has realized full independence in her life for the first time. Even while maintaining healthy relationships, particularly those with other women. She has been attending college with a 4.0 since 2019 and hopes to soon be able to counsel others coming from addiction and trauma, along with volunteering for non-profits that believe in Second Chance. She wants to help create a world where everyone, regardless of background, can realize this independence.