Defy breaks down barriers and creates opportunities for Entrepreneurs-in-Training (EITs) by connecting them with entrepreneurs, investors, business executives and other community members inside of prison and out. Volunteer events are designed to create transformational experiences for EITs and volunteers alike.


June 13

Special Event! Interactive Reentry Simulation

6:00 - 9:00 pm

Google Community Space, San Francisco

We are excited and honored to have trained facilitators (our friends at Checkr) lead us through a simulation of the struggles and challenges faced by Defy Grads and others when transitioning from prison back to our community. Over the course of 2 hours, participants will experience the first month following release. Each participant will be assigned an identity and be faced with a unique set of obstacles and opportunities. The goal of the simulation is to better understand how difficult reentry is for those in our community. This will be a valuable opportunity for all Defy volunteers who wish to support Defy Grads upon their return. (For more information, please see this detailed description.). 

June 25

Business Pitch Competition & Graduation

10:00 – 3:30 pm

Valley State Prison

Business Pitch Competitions begin with icebreaker exercises designed to help create an inclusive and accepting community. Afterward, volunteers serve as judges for the EITs’ Shark-Tank style pitch competition at the culmination of their journey with Defy. Following the competition, EITs don caps and gowns and their family members are invited to join their graduation ceremony. Volunteers have the special opportunity to bear witness and lend support to the graduates who have worked diligently to reach this milestone occasion. 

July 10

Business Coaching Day (BCD)

10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Correction Training Facility, Soledad

BCDs begin with icebreaker exercises designed to help create an inclusive and accepting community. Afterward, volunteers provide EITs with feedback on their resumes, personal statements, and business ideas through small group coaching sessions. Before the end of the evening, there are exercises to reflect on what everyone learned and bring closure to the event.