OUR TEAM

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Mannie Thomas

Co-Executive Director and Director of Programming

Mannie has been a Success Stories facilitator at CTF Prison since 2017. He holds 5 Associates Degrees in multiple disciplines. He recently had his sentence commuted by Governor Brown and was found suitable for parole. He was hired as a Success Stories Coach and Growth Coordinator upon his release in October of 2019. He focuses on identifying and securing new sites to deliver Success Stories Program. 

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Chantal Coudoux

Co-Executive Director and Director of Operations

Chantal is the Co-Executive Director and Director of Operations of Success Stories and former volunteer community liaison. She went to Scripps College in Claremont, California and graduated with a B.A. in politics and a focus on critical race theory and social movements. In her role at Success Stories, she oversees operations and fundraising and works closely with the Leadership Team and Board on strategic growth.

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GRAHAM FINOCHIO

Transformational Coach and Coach Coordinator

Graham was a facilitator at CTF Prison in Soledad, CA. He came home in February of 2019 and joined the staff in July. He is a coach at three prisons in the central valley and multiple reentry programs in Southern California. He focuses on resource development for coaches nationally and identification of new sites to deliver Success Stories. 

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HUGO GONZALEZ 

Transformational Coach and Alumni Coordinator

Hugo served as the second President of Success Stories at CTF Prison in Soledad. Prior to that, he was the Vice President and one of the original facilitators. He now works as a coach and alumni coordinator, developing programs for our network of graduates. He also sits on the board of Initiate Justice.

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ROY DURAN, JR.

Transformational Coach

Roy returned home in September of 2021 after 13.5 incarcerated. He was the Coach and local President of Success Stories at the Santa Barbara County Jail in California. He is a psychology student and key figure in the CNN documentary about Success Stories, The Feminist On Cellblock Y. He has worked with Success Stories since 2015.

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Chris Johnson

Transformational Coach and Growth Coordinator

Chris was the Coach and local President of Success Stories while incarcerated at CTF Soledad. He holds 5 Associates Degrees in multiple disciplines. Chris returned home in May of 2021 and is now a Transformational Coach and Growth Coordinator. He has worked with Success Stories since 2016.

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Trinidad Flores

Transformational Coach

Trinidad became an alumni of Success Stories Program in 2016 at CTF. After being found suitable for parole in April 2020, Trinidad was released from CTF in July 2020.  Since his release, Trinidad has been a utility guy, sharing all knowledge, being of service,  and bringing awareness about toxic masculinity. Trinidad joined Success Stories team in May 2021 and focuses on our correspondence course for those who are incarcerated. 

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Tyrell Lee

Transformational Coach

Tyrell has been a facilitator for success stories since Jan 2019 I was introduced to the group by Hugo, 88, and Chris Johnson. Tyrell's sentence was commuted in 2018 by Governor Jerry Brown. Tyrell's passion is to use his “mess” as a “message” in an attempt to help the youth avoid the pipeline to incarceration 

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Marissa Commey

Development Associate

Marissa learned about the work being done at Success Stories Program while attending a music festival in 2018. It was at this moment that the seeds of abolition were planted in her life. Later while working at a prison, she saw that "mass incarceration" was far more than a concept and was heartbroken by seeing the way lives were being disposed of. After reading Mariame Kaba's We Do This 'Til We Free Us, she decided to root herself in an abolitionist ethic and is thrilled to be doing so through serving the mission of Success Stories!

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Kristi Thomas

Operations Associate

Kristi at her core is a healer! As a Licensed Massage therapist for the past 12 years she has been fulfilling that purpose as a small business owner and working at Spa’s, leading teams and facilities making sure people received what they needed in order to have a positive experience. She has been recognized in her field for her passion for helping others, organization and ingenuity. It is her dedication to community that inspired her to join this team. Her goal  will be to ensure projects run smoothly and  seamlessly allowing the team to delegate their time more efficiently. 

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April Adkins

Operations Associate

April was Incarcerated for close to 28 years. During her incarceration, April received certificates
of completion from The William Glasser Institute and Loyola Marymount University in Choice
Theory Psychology. Upon her release in 2017, April joined organizations such as Beyond the
Bars, All of Us or None, Time Done, and CCWP to help abolish prison systems. Wanting to
support women dealing with the traumas of being incarcerated and coming home, April became
the transitional housing coordinator at A New Way of Life Reentry project. She welcomed many
formerly incarcerated women into homes where they could begin to heal with understanding,
love, support, and the mentoring they needed to start their healing journey as a free woman.
April has dedicated herself to giving back and understands that lives can be transformed without
punishment.

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Indigo Mateo 

Social Media + Communications

Indigo Mateo is a writer, content creator and creative powerhouse who first learned about the work of Success Stories during a prison visit in 2017. She is an artist and singer who is passionate about spreading the work and message of Success Stories through storytelling and media editing. She is also the founder of Soul Showers, a healing space for survivors of sexual violence.

Board of Directors

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Richie Reseda

Co-Founder and Board Chair

 

Richie co-founded Success Stories Program in 2014 while he was incarcerated at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, CA to make a space for young incarcerated men like him to achieve integrity and healthy, fulfilling, lives by challenging their patriarchy. He also co-founded Initiate Justice, which organizes people directly impacted by mass incarceration to change laws to end it and the social-impact media company, Question Culture.

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Haewon Asfaw

Haewon (she/they) is a community organizer, youth advocate and mental health practitioner from Los Angeles. She holds a BA in English and Sociology from Loyola Marymount University and an MSW from the University of California, Berkeley. Haewon has experience organizing around educational justice, criminal justice reform, and multiracial movement building rooted in black and queer liberation. As an intersectional feminist and prison abolitionist, her work centers bridging practices of healing justice, storytelling, and community activism to empower marginalized people to reauthor their stories and/or shift the conditions around them. She is currently a fellow at the San Francisco Foundation creating grants to advance racial equity and economic inclusion in the Bay Area, and funding opportunities that uplift the healing and leadership of BIPOC communities across the region.

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Angela Me-Gyung Chung

Angela Me-gyung Chung is a criminal defense attorney, facilitator, and independent consultant based on the unceded territory of the Gabrieleño/Tongva territory. For over two decades, they have been active in the social justice movements for racial justice, gender justice, prison abolition, and transformative justice. They come to this work as a survivor of family violence, a daughter of Korean immigrants, and loved ones with mental health and substance abuse issues. They are a co-founder of the FTP Fund, a community bail fund helping people arrested for resisting police, white supremacy, and poverty in Los Angeles.

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Amber-rose Howard

Amber-Rose Howard is a poet, public speaker and organizer from Pomona, California. Experiencing a felony conviction as a young adult propelled Amber-Rose into a lifetime commitment of organizing against the Prison Industrial Complex and building up the power of Black people and all others impacted by state violence. Amber-Rose holds a BA in Communication Studies concentrated in Public Argumentation & Rhetoric from California State University, San Bernardino. She is a graduate of the Women’s Foundation of California, Women’s Policy Institute fellowship program and a proud member of All of Us Or None and a graduate of the Just Leadership USA, Leading with Conviction Fellowship. Amber-Rose currently serves as Executive Director of Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), a statewide coalition of over 80 grassroots organizations working to reduce the amount of people incarcerated, stop prison and jail construction and expansion, and shift state and local spending from policing and corrections to supportive human services, bridging movements for racial, economic and environmental justice in CA and across the Nation.

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Mimi kim

Mimi Kim is the founder of Creative Interventions and a co-founder of INCITE! Women, Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color Against Violence. She continues to work on transformative justice and restorative justice responses to gender-based violence. As a second generation Korean American and a long-time activist and advocate, she locates her political work in global solidarity with feminist anti-imperialist struggles, seeking not only the end of oppression but of the creation of liberation here and now. Mimi is also an Associate Professor of social work at California State University, Long Beach. 

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Chantal Coudoux

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Roy Duran, Jr.

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Chris Johnson

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Mannie Thomas