Veteran activist earns 60+ degrees while incarcerated.

Shar-Ron poses with an Aspire Award trophy by a Just Dane sign.Shar-Ron used the services available to him to earn a paralegal degree, bachelor’s degree and 63 other certifications and diplomas before his release in 2020. He wrote two programs for the Department of Corrections and assisted almost 300 men in obtaining their HSEDs.

Prior to his return to the community, Shar-Ron enrolled in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Adult Program for additional support post-release.

“The first thing that I received [from the WorkSmart Network] is acceptance […] I can write a resume, I can make a phone call, but what I can’t do is give myself that hope and give myself that empathy to keep moving forward. That’s something that was external and is something that was provided by [WorkSmart].”

Shar-Ron served in the U.S. Marine Corps and remains an activist for veterans. He founded the first American Legion Post in prison and served as an elected Commander. He continues to support veterans while employed at Porchlight as a Peer Support Specialist; Just Dane as a Health Navigator promoting the COVID-19 vaccine; and Marquette University as a Community Liaison where he’s writing a class to teach in spring 2022.

Shar-Ron is set to earn his master’s degree in criminal justice in 2022 and hopes to make a systematic change in the criminal justice system. He also received the 2021 WDBSCW Aspire Award for his commitment and achievements.

“You have no idea the power of just personal connections and that’s what I would tell anyone who would like to work with WorkSmart. That’s what you’re going to get, that personal connection because guess what, the one thing I felt when I worked with everyone at WorkSmart is that I was the most important person at that time.”