The Prison Startup
“The Last Mile”, a entrepreneurial education program at San Quentin State Prison offers more than business advice – it gives opportunity, community and hope. Speaking for the venture capital-backed initiative, former life sentence inmate and founding program member Kenyatta Leal shares his triumphant journey and the life-affirming power of building an empowered and connected community within the walls of San Quentin.
Former San Quentin Inmate and First Graduate of “The Last Mile”. Kenyatta Leal spent nearly 19 years incarcerated within the California prison system for possession of a firearm under California’s Three Strike Law. Throughout his incarceration Kenyatta spent his time preparing for his future academically, vocationally, and spiritually. Upon his arrival at San Quentin, Kenyatta was inspired by a number of men who had turned their lives around by committing themselves to the process of change. A high school dropout at 17, Kenyatta decided then to begin his journey to earn his GED and, ultimately, his Associates of Arts degree. In 2011 Kenyatta earned his Associate of Arts Degree from Patten University and graduated as Class Valedictorian with a 3.95 GPA. In 2011 Kenyatta became a founding member of The Last Mile, an entrepreneurial program sponsored by San Francisco Venture Capitalists Chris Redlitz and Beverly Parenti.
Kenyatta also participated in and facilitated The San Quentin TRUST, No More Tears, the Victim Offender Education Group, California Reentry Institute and many other self-help programs throughout his incarceration.
In 2011 Kenyatta became a founding member of The Last Mile, an entrepreneurial program sponsored by San Francisco Venture Capitalists Chris Redlitz and Beverly Parenti. As a member of The Last Mile Kenyatta was honored as the 2012 Shorty Award Winner for Quora Answer of the Year