2009 Governor's Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards
Men United, Most Innovative Program
Men United has been selected as the recipient of the Most Innovative Program Award. The program encourages offenders to be accountable to each other as they learn to apply spiritual, business and life principles that will enhance their spiritual transformation and successful transition into the community.
Under the leadership of volunteer Gene Cantwell, offenders meet with business professionals such as lawyers, doctors, investment brokers, real estate brokers and professional athletes each Sunday afternoon. They discuss business principles, money management, work place ethics, understanding credit reports, dressing for success, economic empowerment and Biblical leadership.
Mr. Cantwell organized a Business Plan Competition between the offenders that was judged by 30 business professionals. Due to the training and leadership of the Men United volunteers, the business plans presented by the offenders were claimed by an executive from a local bank to have been better than 90% of those typically reviewed in his office.
Men United offender members that have been released continue to provide encouragement and support by assisting with developing release resources and participating in small group meetings.