Speaker - Catherine Hoke

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Catherine Hoke knows about being a long shot. As the first female wrestler on her high school boys' team, she got pinned repeatedly... and quickly. Hoke’s underdog spirit led her to launch Defy Ventures in 2010, a nonprofit that equips formerly incarcerated drug dealers and gang members start legal businesses. The program works: Defy has incubated and funded 100 of its graduates’ startups. Defy has scaled nationally, achieved a 95% employment rate, and a recidivism rate of less than 5%. Prior to Defy Ventures, Hoke founded the Prison Entrepreneurship Program in Texas, which posted similar success rates. She also improved at wrestling, becoming the 1994 California Women’s Freestyle Wrestling State Champion, and still fights big boys in Brazilian jiu-jitsu to this very day.

1 Program

Second Chances: MDC Humanitarian Award Recipient

05.11.15 | 00:29:53 min | 0 comments