Who We Are

OUR MISSION

The Freedom to Choose Project (FTC) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. FEIN #27-2521943.

FTC transforms the lives of individuals impacted by incarceration through compassionate experiential education that has been proven to reduce prison violence and recidivism. We are deeply committed to our vision that every person who wants to learn to become a responsible, productive member of society has the opportunity and support to do so.

OUR STORY

The name of the organization and the signature workshop, “Freedom to Choose,” was inspired by the work of Viktor Frankl and his well-known book “Man’s Search for Meaning.” Fundamental to his teaching was the lesson, hard-won as a survivor of the concentration camps, that every person always has the freedom to choose their response to the events of their life. This lesson serves as a cornerstone of what The Freedom to Choose Project teaches in prison. In Frankl’s words:

“Everything can be taken from a person but the last of the human freedoms, the freedom to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances – to choose one’s own way.”

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”

FTC has been providing programs that reduce violence and recidivism in California prisons for more than 14 years. To date, FTC has served more than 3,000 prisoners through a corps of volunteers who have donated over 74,600 hours.

AWARDS

The Freedom to Choose Project, along with the co-directors Drs. David and Bonnie Paul have received numerous awards:

OUR TEAM

FOUNDERS

David Paul, M.D., Ph.D.

Co-Founder | Board of Directors | Facilitator (Pro Bono) | Curriculum Development (Pro Bono)

FTC Volunteer since 2004

Bonnie Paul, Ph.D.

Co-Founder | Director of Education (Pro Bono) | Board of Directors | Facilitator (Pro Bono) | Curriculum Development (Pro Bono)

FTC Volunteer since 2004

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

David Paul, M.D., Ph.D.

Chair

FTC Volunteer since 2004

Bonnie Paul, Ph.D.

Chair

FTC Volunteer since 2004

Michael Lattimore, M.A.

Facilitator (Pro Bono)

FTC volunteer since 2009

Karen Peterson, Ph.D.

Board of Directors | Mentor Support Group (ILTAG) Leader – VSP (Pro Bono) | Facilitator (Pro Bono)
Curriculum Development (Pro Bono)

FTC volunteer since 2012

Claudia Flores, M.A.

FTC volunteer since 2014

Renee Croce, M.A.

FTC volunteer since 2016

David Couper, M.A.

FTC volunteer since 2013

FTC STAFF

Molly Barby

Administrative Program Coordinator

FTC volunteer since 2017

Sara Avant Stover

Director of Operations

THE TEAM

Karen Peterson, Ph.D.

Board of Directors | Mentor Support Group (ILTAG) Leader – VSP (Pro Bono) | Facilitator (Pro Bono) | Curriculum Development (Pro Bono)

FTC volunteer since 2012

Howard Lazar

Mentor Support Group (ILTAG) Leader – VSP (Pro Bono) | Facilitator (Pro Bono)

FTC volunteer since 2005

Chemin Bernard

Mentor Support Group (ILTAG) Leader – CIW (Pro Bono) | Facilitator (Pro Bono) | Curriculum Development (Pro Bono) | Newcomer Liasion (Pro Bono)

FTC volunteer since 2006

Stanley Bernard

Mentor Support Group (ILTAG) Leader – CIW (Pro Bono) | Facilitator (Pro Bono) | Curriculum Development (Pro Bono)

FTC volunteer since 2006

Michael Lattimore, M.A.

Board of Directors | Facilitator (Pro Bono)

FTC volunteer since 2009

Donna Kall

Team Captain (Pro Bono)

FTC volunteer since 2004

Elana Christiansen

Team Captain (Pro Bono)

FTC volunteer since 2008

Cynthia Chapman

Team Captain (Pro Bono)

FTC volunteer since 2006

Tim Cloutier

Team Captain (Pro Bono)

FTC volunteer since 2004

Jennifer Herrera

Team Captain (Pro Bono)

FTC volunteer since 2013

Larry Murphy

FTC volunteer since 2018

Dena Hayess-Horton

Sound Lead (Pro Bono)

FTC volunteer since 2014

Clara Naum

Spanish Translations (Pro Bono)

FTC volunteer since 2011

Angela Sanabria

Spanish Translations (Pro Bono)

FTC volunteer since 2014

ALL OF OUR WORK IS MADE POSSIBLE BY OUR WONDERFUL CORP OF VOLUNTEERS

FTC is primarily a volunteer run organization and we are incredibly grateful for the dedication, heart and support of our amazing team. Our volunteers make this works possible.