Criminal Justice Chronicle: D is for Defy Ventures

Defy Ventures is an entrepreneurial training program that channels “the natural talents of currently and formerly incarcerated men, women and youth and redirects them toward the creation of legal business ventures and careers.”

Several years ago, Catherine Hoke, Defy’s Founder and CEO, visited a prison in Texas and discovered that many inmates displayed qualities that were common in successful entrepreneurs on the outside: “a relentless drive to turn a profit, the willingness to take calculated risks, charisma that turns a no into a yes”. Catherine’s insight drove her to invest all of her personal savings into a program that has since helped hundreds of students create legal success.

Defy’s own success is evident in it’s data. But Catherine’s commitment and drive go beyond numbers. Watch her excellent TED talk, The Power of Second Chances, to learn about the most important impact of Defy: the human connections and reconnections between graduates and their families, especially their children.

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