Paul Bocanegra | Co-Founder &
Youth Outreach Manager
"One of our Programs is the Ride Home Program, where we pick up transitioning youth after serving their sentence. We give them a ride to their residence and provide them with resources and referrals to services that enhance their transition back into the community.
Our mentee Ray Vaughn, like many other youths, transitioned from Prison-to-Community with no job skills, no stable housing, or employment. I posted this transition on all my social media sites and Lara Sedaghat responded by her willingness to collaborate to help Ray Vaughn make the connection to meaningful employment.
Lara provided the middle piece that Ray Vaughn needed which was to create a resume for a position that was open for limited time. Lara created a competitive resume which quickly led to Ray Vaughn being hired by this employer.
We are so thankful for the service that Lara shared with Ray Vaughn and ReEvolution. She was instrumental in this successful transition of our youth from Cell-to-Community."
Tia Ryans | Founding Executive Director
(Forcing Out Recidivism through Education)
"We heard about the services that Lara Sedaghat and her organization, Elevate You Foundation, provides through word of mouth and reached out to her to assist the10 men in our program who were just recently released from prison. Although FORTE provides stability for formerly incarcerated individuals through transitional housing, it is our utmost priority to assist our program participants with obtaining work immediately.
Upon contacting Lara through email, we received an immediate warm response in which her passion in helping our program participants gain employment stood out immediately. She
provided us with the information she would need to create her amazing resumes, and within a short amount of time of us providing her with that information, she created and sent back resumes for the three number of participants we needed to assist in finding employment.
Anytime we reached out to her for a resume, she would respond and provide us with one. Not only were her resumes an important factor in our recently paroled participants ability to secure financial and emotional stability upon returning home, but her dedication to helping is a
beautifully rare and unique quality and trait that is embedded deeply within her organization.
We appreciate who she is and what she does for those who are currently and formerly incarcerated."
Photo from San Francisco Chronicle
Kristin Kolbinski |
Clinical Forensic Psychologist
Formerly at San Quentin State Prison
"In April 2019, I was working at San Quentin State Prison as a Clinical Forensic Psychologist in the Enhanced Outpatient (EOP) level of care.
What stood out to me was that Lara focused on helping currently and previously incarcerated individuals and that she was interning inside San Quentin.
I was facilitating a Pre-Release group for men preparing to be released back into the community. I instantly sent Lara a message asking if she would be willing to teach my group about creating a resume. I could not be more excited when she wrote back and said that she would love to help the men in my group! The day that Lara came as a guest speaker was one of the greatest days that I had facilitating that group. Not only did she provide the men with all the information they needed on creating a resume that will stand out from the rest, but she also spoke love into their hearts and reminded them that they have what it takes to achieve their biggest goals.
Lara also helped them to believe that they deserve to show potential employers how lucky they would be to have them as a member of their organization. She helped everyone in that group see that they are worthy of self-love and most importantly, that they are worthy of a second chance.
Following that day, I would continue to spread the word about Lara’s resume services to the men within the EOP program. Several of my patients brought me hand-written copies of their resumes and I would e-mail them to Lara. She would then send me the finished product, and each time I would hand them back to the men, their faces would light up, with joy that you do not see too often inside prison.
Having these resumes helped each individual feel more confident in applying for jobs once they were back in the community. Lara is such a light in this world, and I am grateful to know her."
Travion Ford | Father and Entrepreneur
Paroling After 11+ Years of Incarceration
"I have been incarcerated for over 11 years and am currently incarcerated at California Correctional Training Facility.
Ms. Lara Sedaghat, I really want to thank you for your support letter and amazing resume that you awesomely put together for me.
The Parole Board recognized both and I mentioned your name during the hearing. I owe you a great deal. I highly appreciate your compassion, sincerity, and consideration.
I am so elated at this moment and can’t wait to reunite with my family and especially with my son.”
John Jackson | Director of
at Hustle 2.0
"Elevate You Foundation played a pivotal role in helping to find reentry housing options for three program participants who were set to parole within a year and had nowhere to live.
Within three days of providing Elevate You with details, I had an extensive list of possibilities for housing. This was more than just a list of resources; I felt that Lara Sedaghat and the Elevate You Foundation were personally invested in the returning citizens that needed housing. They used their resources, contacts, and heart to provide value that is hard to find anywhere else."
Judith Tata | Executive Director
at California Re-Entry Program
“Throughout this past year, our clients in incarceration have been fortunate to receive services from Elevate You Foundation. Lara has great expertise in creating all types of resumes and she has done a wonderful job of providing our men guidelines and prompts to help highlight their accomplishments. She has skillfully assembled the available information into attractive, eye-catching resumes that stand out from the ordinary, and highlighted the men’s many transferable skills regardless of their length of incarceration.
Having a resume upon release is a necessary part of reentry preparation. With Lara’s professional help, our clients are able to present a comprehensive resume to the Parole Board as well as enter the job market upon release better prepared, and with greater confidence.
We couldn't be happier with Lara and Elevate you Foundation and can warmly recommend their services.”
Photo from newark.rutgers.edu
Regina Diamond-Rodriguez |
Director of Transitions
(New Jersey Scholarship and
Transformative Education in Prisons)
"It has truly been a pleasure to work with Lara - she is a complete gem. Elevate You Foundation came highly recommended by two alumni of the NJ-STEP community (all formerly incarcerated students and graduates); they utilized her services and were very pleased with the results as were all the students and graduates who have since worked with her.
Lara is quick to respond to requests and efficiently produces remarkable results. She is passionate about her work and this is evident in every step of the process. She works well with formerly incarcerated students and graduates to produce phenomenal resumes that reflect their strengths and abilities. Her clients receive more than just a resume though; they are equipped with the confidence and the ability to communicate their personal narrative in a way that allows them to successfully apply for jobs, obtain interviews and accept job offers."
Wahid Howard | Community Advocate
NJSTEP Participant, Formerly Incarcerated for 17.5 Years
"After doing 17.5 years in prison and now being reintegrated back into society, I am so thankful to the Elevate You Foundation and Lara Sedaghat.
I was introduced to them through NJ-STEP at Rutgers University to have my resume done. Lara did my resume for me from scratch being that I was incarcerated for almost 18 years. She did a phenomenal job to the point where I have multiple job interviews within two weeks.
I really owe it all to Elevate You Foundation as they have really elevated my life in a way I could not have imagined with my professionally styled resume. Thank you very much."
Photo from San Francisco CBS Local
John Williams | Co-Author of
"The Hell With A Gang"
Currently Incarcerated at Donovan State Prison
"In having utilized the benefits of Elevate You Resume Services, I can personally attest to its momentous value.
The unique title in itself inspired me to ponder beyond prison walls with focus on the many, and any, means by which I could elevate self.
Once I actually received my own personalized resume, structured by a most professional standard, I knew there was a place for me in the working world upon re-entry.
Elevate You does more than mere chronologies of a convict's successes, it gives incarcerated people a better sight of hope from knowing that our resume incite challenge within to Elevate Self."
DeVonnie O'Dell | Former Facilitator of
"Alternatives to Violence" Project
Currently Incarcerated at High Desert State Prison
"I have been incarcerated for 23 years in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Elevate You has significant importance to the incarcerated, as this non-profit organization is geared at bringing out our potential and assisting us, who never had a job, with getting a resume together from the skills we learnt during our incarceration.
Elevate You is a great support system for those who do not have family that can assist us with job interview preparation and job references that are willing to give newly released inmates job oppournites.
Elevate You is an outlet that not only motivates us to be productive, but is also a support network that provides access to a professional network on many levels that help with adjusting back into society."