Open Gate Inc.
Open Gate, Inc. is an Oakland, CA based certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and facilitating formerly incarcerated individuals through college education to graduation and beyond. Open Gate, Inc. creates a welcoming and structured environment that sees the dignity and potential in our clients and strives to encourage and facilitate each client to reach his or her best possible future.

The County of Alameda has a large population of residents who are incarcerated. Open Gate, Inc. sees this group as potential students, graduates, productive members and future leaders of our community. The results achieved to date indicate this philosophy and the structured approach to addressing the needs and establishing the roles and expectations for these students can be highly successful in the most challenging of environments and implies greater success can and will be achieved under the structured, nurturing and yet disciplined environment prevalent at local community colleges.

Contributing to the County and the State
From its inception, Open Gate, Inc., has tied closely its vision mission and values to the hard economics of incarceration and the alternate path of education and a fulfilling contribution to society. The cost to the State of California to incarcerate an individual is approximately $50,000 per year. In stark contrast, the cost to educate a formerly incarcerated individual is approximately $10,000 through the community college system, and still less than the cost of incarceration when the most capable and motivated enter the UC system. This economic equation in itself is compelling, however, including the State of California recidivism rate of 74.1% and contrasting it with a zero recidivism rate of those in the Open Gate system, and a less than 15% instance of administrative parole breaches, reinforces both the economic and social equation for the members and Board of Open Gate Inc. Open Gate essentially saves the taxpayer money while providing the wrap-around support, which enables formerly incarcerated members of society to reach their fullest level of positive contribution. Prior Open Gate Program Results - College of Alameda, 2014/15 The details below provide a synopsis of results to date through the Open Gate philosophy and program of engagement at the College of Alameda.

Student Cohort
• 27 students enrolled full-time (21 African American, 4 Latino, 1 Asian, 1 Armenian)
• 23 men, 4 women
• Age range: 22-70
• Length of incarceration: 8 months - 27 years
• Fall 2014: 18 students enrolled and completed the semester (100% retention)
• Spring 2015: 12 students re-enrolled (66.6% retention)
• 25 % gained full-time employment and did not re-enroll
• Spring 2015: 18 new students enrolled
• 3 students concurrently enrolled in U.C. Berkeley, with an additional 4 enrolling for 2015/16.
Graduation / Recidivism Statistics
• 10 students graduated from the ATLAS Forklift/OSHA/Hazardous Material Certification Program in March 2015. All were offered and started new jobs within 3 weeks.
• 3 students graduated from the ATLAS Warehouse Logistics Certification Program in August 2015. All enrolled and started their first class at UC Berkeley the week of graduation.
• 0% recidivism for Open Gate students verses State of CA rate of 74.1%.
Additional Achievements / Recognition
• A structure leveraging Open Gate Men’s Advisory Council (OG MAC) established as the operating model for Open Gate
• 2 students won Peralta Colleges Foundation Scholarships
• The founders are members of the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, Operation My Home Town Committee.
• Open Gate won the Peralta Colleges Foundation Classroom Enrichment Grant of $1,000 which is used to fund concurrent enrollment at U.C. Berkeley.
• All students have a session with Wardrobe for Opportunity for free styling and business attire funded by Corizon Health.

Students’ Commitment
Each student is required to sign a contract between the student and Open Gate stating student expectations, commitments, and responsibilities. The contract clearly states the commitment from Open Gate, Inc. to the student in supporting their goals, aims and aspirations. This contract includes conditions of enrollment and the benefits of being a participant of Open Gate.

Each student completes an Open Gate application for the selection and assessment process. Each student is required to have a high school diploma or a completed GED or equivalent for most college courses. Students who do not have their GED or equivalent can obtain it with the direction of the Open Gate, Inc. staff. Students will be required to follow the college of choice code of conduct. All students must have academic goals and follow their Student Educational Plan. Each student is required to attend weekly meetings with Open Gate staff and counselor.

Each Open Gate student is required to actively participate in mentoring and guiding students following in their path. Graduates of Open Gate are encouraged to see themselves as part of this community as they progress in academia and in their careers, to build a widespread and supportive Open Gate Alumnus.

Through the program commitment to educate, motivate, lead, and inspire, the students will be encouraged and expected to demonstrate their commitment to each element of the program, to each other, and to their college and community.

In support of this goal we have arranged for the students to be supported by Wardrobe for Opportunity in Oakland. Wardrobe for Opportunity provides high quality clothing and style coaching to support and assist the elevation of aspiring and committed individuals.

Addressing Special Needs
In addition, a large section of those who have been formerly incarcerated have learning disabilities. (Fifty-one percent (51%) of current Open Gate students have learning disabilities). This negatively impacts their educational opportunities and plays an enormous role in their path to incarceration.

Additionally, many students suffer from depression, Post-traumatic Stress, and other mental health disorders. These students will benefit from access to the college mental health professionals for counseling services and to obtain documentation of their disability. This entitles them to DSPS services and support under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Supplemental activities and support will exist for the Open Gate students to recognize the behavioral and societal adjustments required for a successful college experience and success in the role as future leaders in their chosen career.
The supplemental activities and support include:
• Required attendance at a pre-matriculation “Welcome to Open Gate” induction week
• Commitment to the vision, mission, values, and culture of Open Gate, Inc.
• Clarity on the commitment from Open Gate, Inc. to its students
• Understanding the role of the “Open Gate Student Club”

Overcoming Hidden Barriers - Selective Services
Selective Service enrollment is a federal requirement for students to receive financial aid and all males between the ages of 18-26 are required to register for service.

Most of our students were incarcerated at this age and have not registered for Selective Service; this has proven to be a huge barrier in obtaining financial aid.

Enrollment cannot be retroactive, but students can request a status from selective service and can write a letter to financial aid stating why they did not enroll. All potential Open Gate students will receive assistance to help navigate these very specific steps. All of our students who followed these steps did receive financial aid, albeit later in the semester.

Open Gate Men’s Advisory Council (OG MAC)
OG MAC is a group of influential formerly incarcerated men who act as guides, leaders and mentors to Open Gate students and participants. Their strength and wisdom has brought a great stability and core underpinning to Open Gate and Open Gate, Inc.
Members of OG MAC are visible on all campuses to seed the growth of further OG MAC groups and to act as mentors to new Open Gate students and as advisors to faculty and staff./p>

Open Gate Student Club
 An Open Gate Student Club is established and supported to target students already on campus who may have been formerly incarcerated. This is also an efficient pathway for other students, faculty and staff with an interest in supporting Open Gate to join and support the growth of Open Gate.

As the program progresses through future class inductions, members of the student club apply their knowledge and experience of matriculation, financial aid and study techniques to assist and support our new students. They also act as individual mentors so that each Open Gate student has one-on-one support on campus.

Open Gate Student Club will organize events on the campus to raise awareness and support for the program. These events will be free and publicized will include:
• Spoken Words
• Open Mic
• Movie Night; followed by organized discussions
• End of the Year event

Behavioral and Societal Approach
 Behavioral and Societal Approach
Many of the challenges faced by the target group are linked to behavioral and societal attributes, which are addressed through a specific stream of activities as part of Open Gate.
The target applicants are assessed and educated in both academic and behavioral aspects. They are also coached on continued demonstration of the values and behaviors expected and instilled through Open Gate. They receive guidance on how these can provide lasting benefit to the broader community and those who follow.
These qualities and values are delivered through a structured and methodical approach and measured both objectively and subjectively through observation in practice.
The behavioral elements of the program include:
• Weekly leadership classes with local business leaders, educators and community leaders as guest speakers
• Weekly check-in with OG MAC
• One-on-one mentoring

Integration and Co-ordination with Existing Programs
Open Gate works in conjunction with already established programs and departments on campuses including:
• EOPS (ALL campus)
• DSPS (ALL campus)
• Mental Health Services (ALL campus)
• Tutoring Services (ALL campus)
• Striving Black Brothers (Chabot College)
• Daraja Community (Chabot College)
• Underground Scholars (UC Berkeley)
• Second Chance (SF City College)
• Street Scholars (Merritt College)

Advisory Board with representatives from key stakeholders including:
 • Santa Rita Jail
• Chabot College
• Oakland Public Library
• Edgewater Parole Center Literacy Lab
• Center Point Day Reporting Center, Oakland
• Corizon Health Service
• Abrami & Associates
• College of Alameda
• Youth Aid
• Stanford Health Care
• Longs Law Offices
• Strategic Project Solutions (Gas & Oil Consultant)
• SF City College
• Oakland United