It’s the newest ingredient in ReMerge’s overall recipe for success.
“We’re so excited, it’s been a long time coming, and the cookie business is finally open," said Jenna Morey, ReMerge Executive Director.
A United Way Wayfinder grant and additional funding from Boeing gave ReMerge the dough to launch Catalyst Cookies, which started online sales last Monday.
It keeps mothers who are facing nonviolent felony charges out of prison in exchange for completing the two-year program, after which their charges are dismissed, and they can be reunited with their children.
All candidates must be approved by the Oklahoma County district attorney's office and public defender's office.
“We get to encourage each other, and the staff believing in us is number one because they let us know we can succeed," said Sara Cervantes, a Catalyst Cookies program member.
While they are striving to make tasty cookies, the ultimate mission of the program is to not only take a bite out of the Oklahoma prison population, but to set these women up for success after they graduate from the program.
“Really the purpose behind Catalyst Cookies is truly to catalyze our participants careers," said Morey.
They do that by not only teaching baking skills, but in other areas like customer service and inventory management.
Everyone also goes through a 12-week employability skills course.
“We know that having a job is a huge indicator for recidivism and long-term recovery, so helping our moms find stable employment that they’re passionate about makes them so much more successful once they graduate," said Morey.
These women reemerging into society gainfully employed, these mothers ready for their most important job.
“I strive every single day to make sure I can succeed and achieve to get my daughters back," said Alisha Holland.
Catalyst Cookies is currently taking online orders.