A $3,000 contribution from prison inmates won’t make much of a dent in Jubilee Leadership Academy’s $2 million annual budget.
But the money, raised by inmates at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell, is giving Jubilee students and staff reason to celebrate the New Year.
“Everything we do is based on private donations and tuition. It’s very, very meaningful when we get guys who are limited on what they have to give back to us,” said Leann Griffin, admissions director for the Prescott-based boarding school and counseling center. “It does amazing things for staff to hear from people who have had a hard time.”
Established with support from Broetje Orchard founders Cheryl and Ralph Broetje in 1995, Jubilee serves up to 65 at-risk students from throughout the U.S.
It receives no state funding, depending instead on tuition and private donations to advance its mission to provide a “Christ-centered community where youth can find a new beginning.” The Broetjes are its main supporters. Contributions, gifts and grants accounted for two-thirds of its 2014 revenue. Service fees accounted for most of the balance, according to its most recent 990 financial report to the Internal Revenue Service.
No current student pays the full monthly tuition of $3,500, Griffin said.
It’s very, very meaningful when we get guys who are limited on what they have to give back to us.
Leann Griffin, Jubilee admissions director
Jubilee is a boarding school that provides therapeutic and counseling services to its students. It offers equine therapy and has welding and wood shops to ensure students leave with marketable skills.
It came to the attention of Coyote Ridge inmates after a former employee, Calvin Thorpe, left to work for the Washington Department of Corrections. Thorpe arranged for Jubilee officials to lead courses at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla and at Coyote Ridge on interviewing.
Griffin said the Coyote Ridge inmates were particularly interested in Jubilee, telling staff their lives might have turned out differently had they received similar services. Each quarter, inmates choose a nonprofit to receive money raised from sales of special items in the prison commissary. They presented a check for more than $2,000 in December and additional $1,000 is expected in coming days.
Griffin said Jubilee may dedicate the inmate contribution to a scholarship fund or to help with expenses related to its new game room.