RISE

RISE Reentry: Erica Pieper, Reentry Supervisor

Guiding RISE Builders into reentry

By Erica Pieper, MSW

When I first met Jeremy Bouman back in 2017, I told him I would do absolutely anything to be able to do this work alongside him. I saw his heart for justice and mercy, and saw the resilience of the people he was serving. I knew this was my life's work, and would do anything to be part of it - even if it meant I had to sweep the floors of the office. 

After much harassment, Jeremy hired me to be the Volunteer Relations Manager. In this role I had the privilege of recruiting, engaging, and cultivating relationships with community members across Nebraska. I brought over 450 volunteers into the Nebraska Department of Corrections to meet Builders who were working their hearts out to find hope in a place that doesn't always inspire hope. I adored watching volunteers walk out of events with changed minds, hearts, and charged with a mission to eradicate the stereotypes surrounding the people they just met. 

As RISE continued to grow, our staff continued to talk about the struggles and barriers faced when people reenter our community from prison. It became apparent that for our work to be successful, we needed an entire team of people to rally around our Builders. Thus, my role as the RISE Reentry Supervisor was born. 

With undergraduate and graduate degrees in Social Work, it's clear to anyone who knows my heart that this role fulfills my desire for collaboration and connection. I'm honored, proud, humbled, and so. dang. excited. for the things our reentry team, our organization, and our Builders will accomplish in the upcoming year. 

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Looking to volunteer? Erica's shoes have been filled by Chantal Randall - TedX speaker, community builder, and RISE graduate. We're thrilled to have her and can't wait for her to guide you through your volunteering process! crandall@seeusrise.org