Celebrate our 15-Year Anniversary with us! Donate to our 2019 year-end campaign today.

Who We Are

OUR MISSION

To transform the lives of individuals impacted by incarceration through compassionate experiential education.

OUR VISION

Every person who wants to learn the skills to become a responsible, productive member of society has the opportunity and support to do so.

OUR VALUES

1. Divinely Guided Leadership
We listen within for the still, small voice of Spirit’s inspiration as it comes through the wisdom of our hearts. Spirit is our partner in this organization and we are dedicated to acting in ways that fulfill the highest good of all concerned. When we do this, we participate in opening to Grace.

2. Flexibility 
We accept and creatively embrace the challenges of life, transforming challenges into stepping stones. We work together in cooperation and harmony, gratefully appreciating our own and each other’s strengths, contributions and value. We are soooooo flexible!

3. Walk Our Talk
We do our best to authentically “walk our talk,” demonstrating the skills that we teach. We consistently and gratefully use our skills to resolve our own emotional reactivity.

4. Excellence
Our intention is to dynamically demonstrate excellence, supporting ourselves and each other in blooming fully and sharing our gifts. We take responsibility for our actions, holding a clear intention to consistently keep our agreements. We share our ideas and listen to each other openly and creatively, working together to create a culture of friendly feedback that supports excellence, growth and joy.

5. Freedom
We delight in the opportunities we have to co-create more freedom inside ourselves and in the world. We encourage freedom of Authentic Self expression, and freedom within our roles to function in ways that are fulfilling for each person. With that freedom comes responsibility to make choices that are in the highest good of all concerned.

6. Respect
We respect the value of every person, regardless of outer circumstances. We do our best to treat ourselves and each other with kindness, care and consideration. We respect the sacred and often confidential nature of our work.

7. Lifelong Learning
We are individually and collectively dedicated to learning and growth. We take responsibility for our own growth, our emotions and attitude.

8. Loving Service
We believe that loving service is one of the highest expressions of human consciousness, and it begins with taking good care of ourselves. We recognize that at our core, we are love and we bring loving forward in all the many ways we serve.

9. Stewardship
We take loving care of our resources, first and foremost ourselves. We engage in strategic planning and optimize processes to maximize our financial and people resources. As an outflow, we enjoy an ever-increasing flow of abundance on all levels!

10. Fun!
We enjoy doing amazing work in the world, and we have a lot of fun in the process!

OUR GROUND RULES

1. Take care of yourself so you can help take care of others.

2. Don’t hurt yourself and don’t hurt others. 

3. Use everything for your upliftment, growth and learning. 

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.

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

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.