Vanessa Bright

My why: I want to use my experience and expertise to empower inmates and formerly incarcerated individuals with the skills, resources and knowledge to become thriving and productive citizens in the communities to which they return.

My how: Individualized case management is the hallmark of my work. What began with a stint teaching financial literacy and entrepreneurship to people in prison took on a broader scope when I began really listening to their individual stories. Now, those stories are the driving force behind the Maryland Reentry Resource Center, which strives to uphold human dignity and help individuals and organizations remove the social and financial barriers to success. Here are a few highlights of my work:

  • Launched a social-enterprise pressure-washing business that serves as a transitional employment program
  • Initiated relationships with employers supportive of the hiring returning citizens
  • Collaborate with the Annapolis Police Department in COVID crisis management and their Reentry program
  • Developed virtual classrooms for teaching finance, goal-setting and work-readiness skills
  • Built connections with technical training resources
  • Established an Entrepreneurship club at Eastport Terrace that matches mentors with clients

I am the rare visionary leader who is also good at setting up systems and collaborating with others. I bring with me two decades of experience reengineering non-profit organizations that serve marginalized populations, including the last seven years in which my focus has been on expanding and streamlining programs for returning citizens. 

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