Uluru/Ayers Rock Foundation, Inc. is an organization striving to motivate and inspire. It invests capital and time in the future of people who have difficulty finding and retaining employment on their own, including formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women, allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of the Lee County community.
Poverty in America comes with a host of physical, sociological and psychological baggage. In Florida there are 3 million residents on parole. It is unreasonable to believe that the vast majority of those on parole and the tens of thousands to follow will be prepared to become employable members of our society without training.
At the core of the Uluru program is the 13-week paid internship program where clients become interns with a set schedule as they would with any job. During the program they will attend classes, share experiences and learn new skills with a team of peers and professionals. Classes are designed to introduce new habits that will raise their vision of what is possible, to build self-esteem and to reinforce the value of their cultural heritage. They will participate in scheduled physical training, field trips designed to expand their understanding of the world around them as well as many hours of mentoring by Uluru staff and guest experts.
Realizing the problem
Previously incarcerated men and women face the problem of enormous “barriers to entry” when searching for sustaining employment following their return to the community. Florida Tax Watch, a conservative Florida organization, calls it the “Locked Up, then Locked Out” system. In a report issued in July 2016, Dominic Calabro, President and CEO of Florida Tax Watch, made two observations found in virtually all of the recent studies on this topic: 1. Employment is a critical factor in reducing recidivism. 2. Having a criminal record (regardless of the age at which the offense was committed) reduces the chances of an applicant even being considered for an entry level job by up to 75%.
Many support services may be included as requirements of the Uluru internship, including housing assistance, health care, abuse counseling, legal support, GED and other educational services. Uluru collaborates with a network of providers to ensure that the interns have full access to these services and that they are fully engaged in these offerings which focus on the goal of a self-sustaining professional and personal life.
Well before the prospective intern begins the program, Uluru secures the partnership of local businesses, who are continually looking for motivated employees. Uluru graduates will be well prepared and ready for their chosen career path to begin.
Uluru/Ayers Rock, Australia
A spiritual and ceremonial landmark pictured from 10 miles
Finding power in new ways of expression
See "About Us & Our Name" page for more information about Uluru/Ayers Rock and its significance to us.