The point is to show these ladies that they have a future ahead of them and to give them the skills to make them successful as they move forward.
Patricia was raised in Miami, Florida and has spent all her life in the area. She has six adult children and twenty-three grandchildren, and she's in charge of reminding everybody when the next birthday is coming. She is currently a self-employed bookkeeper and tax preparer for several businesses.
Patricia has been involved in volunteer work at correctional centers for more than twenty years. She started doing prison ministry through Kairos Prison Ministry, and she conducted Bible studies, counseled youth and adult prisoners, and had countless visits with individual prisoners trying to guide them to a better path. Along the way, Patricia realized that recidivism was rampant, and she would see many people on a perpetual cycle of getting out of prison only to return in the next few months. Frustrated by the situation, she stopped doing her ministry work with the prison system and decided to form a separate program called LEAP, Ladies Empowerment and Action Program. In 2010, Patricia and her two co-founders held their first class in prison.
She has become involved with two non profits in particular - Servants of Friends (SOF), an organization offering services to at risk youth between the ages of 11 and 17. SOF also provides scholarships for qualified graduating students, Back to School supplies, and financial assistance to a school in Haiti. Hope City Center is a transitional program serving men and women beginning with life skill classes presented inside prison, and continuing with assistance post release to include hygiene, bus cards, clothing, and references to jobs and housing. Pat especially has a heart for this often forgotten population.
Patricia continues to serve on the advisory board of LEAP and teaches classes as well. Her desire to help others has also led to the launch of His Hands Extended.
"I realized that alot of people starting non-profits have the desire and drive to do well and help people, but they don't always realize what it takes actually get a non-profit off the ground," said Patricia.
Through His Hand Extended, she guides new non-profits through the process of registering to become a 501c3, as well as assisting in figuring out state laws and offering any advice the organization may be seeking.
Patricia is also an ordained minister, counciling couples in the lead up to their big day. Her close friend, Matilda Brinson, will join Patricia on the cruise.