About Us

Our Goal:

A Brighter Way (ABW) believes that every person deserves: hope, respect and support. The goal of ABW is to help people find stability in Washtenaw County by providing mentoring and other services that promote:

  • Communication Skills
  • Job Retention
  • Building, utilizing and maintaining a social support network after incarceration

Our Story

A Brighter Way was started by three friends with first-hand experience facing the challenges of re-entering society after prison.  We’ve experienced facing old neighbors, friends and family members. We know what it’s like to:

  • Check the felony box on a job application
  • Not get a callback because of your record
  • Feel like you want to give up

We have faced these challenges and obstacles, and it’s our goal to do something different. A Brighter Way was started as a way to provide dedicated support to men and women returning home from prison and jail. We are an independent community resource that believes in the importance of building a community that respects and empowers all of its citizens.

Who Are We:

A Brighter Way was founded by formerly incarcerated people but includes community members from all walks of life. The common theme among us is stability and knowing that we are all continuing to work being the best version of ourselves that we can. Our past cannot be changed, but we refuse to let our future be limited by it.

  • Click here to find a full listing of our board members.
  • Mentors are a mix of people who have been to jail and prison and people who have not. Each mentor has gone through a 7-hour training that focuses on building healthy/supportive relationships that help people set goals for themselves.
  • Ongoing learning opportunities and supervision from a clinical social worker are available to all ABW mentors.
  • ABW is grateful for to the United Way of Washtenaw County for initial funding as well as another family foundation that wishes to remain anonymous at this time. We are generally supported by private donations – and every little bit counts!
  • Funding helps to support program materials for mentor trainings, supplies given to mentees, social activities, participant meetings, and staffing (though to date, ABW is a fully volunteer-run organization).
  • If you are interested in supporting ABW through a financial donation click here.