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Tammy Scudder

In the bustling corridors of corporate America, I once walked with the weight of the world on my shoulders. As a woman in a leadership role, I battled not only the glass ceiling but also the silent, stifling pressures of societal expectations. 

Despite my achievements, while successfully managing several roles at one time, the gender pay gap served as a constant reminder of the undervaluation of my contributions. This disparity was merely the tip of the iceberg.  The dual burden of professional and personal responsibilities led to increased stress and burnout, affecting my mental health and overall well-being.

Every day, I faced a relentless balancing act—managing full-time work, tending to household responsibilities, and bearing the emotional labor of caring for my family. Tragedy struck deeply with the loss of my mother and youngest brother, plunging me into a profound grief. A short time after, during an intensely vulnerable period, a toxic friendship further eroded my mental well-being, leaving me painfully isolated.

Amid this turmoil, the overwhelming professional and societal pressures not only intensified my mental strain but also led to severe mental and emotional instability. This instability impaired my cognitive functions, clouding my judgment and diminishing my ability to think clearly. Trapped in this state, I repeatedly made harmful decisions, unable to break the cycle despite knowing the detrimental effects.

Over time, these unyielding pressures, coupled with my compromised decision-making abilities, escalated into a crisis that completely upended my life, leading to legal challenges and ultimately, incarceration.

In 2021, I was indicted for wire fraud, and by 2023, I found myself serving a sentence in a minimum-security prison. I was behind the walls of the outside world; however, it was in prison that I found a safe space to reflect, grieve, and begin the process of healing and rebuilding. My release to a halfway house marked the beginning of yet another challenging chapter—reentry into society, a journey fraught with barriers, especially in securing employment.

During these challenging times, my resilience remained steadfast. Building upon my personal experiences and the challenges faced by other women, I founded the Indiana Reentry Corporation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to empowering women navigating life post-incarceration. Our Board of Directors, comprising representatives from government agencies, nonprofits, legal professionals, advocates, and business-minded individuals, share the unified vision of supporting those impacted by the justice system. We are committed to fiscal responsibility, ensuring the long-term sustainability of our mission. My objective is to dismantle the unrealistic expectations placed on women and establish a supportive sanctuary for those affected by the justice system.

Today, the Indiana Reentry Corporation stands as a beacon of hope, advocating for mental health, recognizing the emotional labor of caregiving, and supporting justice-impacted individuals. The organization not only aims to empower, but also to reintegrate these individuals into society, providing them with the valuable tools and resources for a second chance at life.

Join Us in Supporting Second Chances!

Your support can light the path for many more women striving to rebuild their lives in the face of daunting challenges. By supporting the Indiana Reentry Corporation, you are investing in the potential of every individual who, like me, is determined to turn our trials into triumphs.

Together, we can transform adversity into opportunity, and struggle into strength. Join us in championing redemption, resilience, and the unwavering human spirit.

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