Job Coaching and Placement. Crystal's Story.


How did securing your first job impact your life? For participants at CEO, obtaining employment following incarceration can mean the difference between remaining in the criminal legal system and having a secure future. This year, more than 3,000 formerly incarcerated individuals who walk through CEO’s doors will be placed into full-time jobs across the nation.

Meet Crystal Malone. Upon release from incarceration, Crystal worked hard to find a job. Despite applying for many on her own, and being honest about her conviction history, she rarely even got an interview.

Crystal was referred to CEO in June 2017 by ReMerge, an Oklahoma-based community partner that supports reentry for women. Her home state of Oklahoma has the highest female incarceration rate of any state, and women like Crystal are often at the highest risk for recidivism, homelessness, and unemployment.

At CEO, Crystal worked on a CEO transitional work crew and met with her Job Coach, Takisha, each week. Takisha helped Crystal come up with long term career goals. Together, they updated Crystal’s resume to better convey Crystal’s skills and experience, including her transitional work experience at CEO. Within two months of enrollment at CEO, Crystal secured a full-time job as a housekeeper with a major hotel chain in Downtown Oklahoma City. After 12-months in that role, she was then promoted to a supervisor role. In August 2018, Crystal achieved her 365-day job retention milestone with CEO. She also graduated from the ReMerge program and earned a Recovery Support Specialist certification, which allowed her to support and advocate for individuals who are recovering from mental illness and substance abuse.

Impressed by Crystal’s commitment to serving her community, staff at the CEO Oklahoma City office invited Crystal to join their team in June 2019 as a Site Supervisor. Recognizing the obstacles she faced throughout her career journey, and the role coaching and mentorship played in her success, Crystal is preparing to lead CEO OKC’s first all-female transitional work crew. She is committed to helping other women who have been impacted by incarceration. Outside of work, Crystal has reunited with her children and looks forward to spending the holidays with her family.

”I know what it’s like to have nothing, and not know what the day ahead is going to bring because no one will give you a chance. CEO changed my life, and I’m so happy to be part of this team. To give back, and support someone else’s journey.”

-Crystal Malone, CEO Oklahoma Supervisor

We are tremendously proud to celebrate Crystal’s success. Please consider supporting CEO’s work so we can support great people like Crystal. Make a gift today in honor of Crystal’s story.

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CEO’s I Am You series feature stories about participants that showcase their efforts to prepare for employment and career advancement. We hope these stories will inspire you to support CEO’s mission to connect formerly incarcerated individuals across the country to meaningful employment opportunities.

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Read other stories:

First Day on the Job. Ronald’s Story.

Building for the Future. Robert’s Story of Advancement.

Strengthening Skills, Starting a Career. Saed’s Story.