Charity Spotlight: ‘With Arouet, I Know I Matter’

Allison Rapping

Organization: Arouet

Leadership: Alison Rapping – CEO | Dana Campbell Saylor – Board Chair

Annual Budget: $1.1 million


Arouet was founded in 2011 to prepare women for success after they leave prison by providing them with education, employment and life skills. Its CEO, Alison Rapping, came to the organization after helping her brother launch Gideon’s Promise, a national nonprofit that trains, supports and advocates for public defenders throughout the U.S. Through that process, Rapping gained insight and empathy for people caught in the criminal justice system, and she wanted to do something to invest in them. “I saw the opportunity to lead Arouet as a remarkable chance to create a program that empowers women with education, employment and mentoring,” she said. “I saw the opportunity to help them rebuild their lives, reconnect with their families, and contribute to their communities.”


Arouet empowers and transforms the lives of formerly incarcerated women and their families through its holistic pre- and post-release programs, which cover financial coaching, career development, job placement, mentoring, healthcare navigation and community integration. Arouet also champions fair-chance hiring practices, which create more inclusive and diverse workplaces for people with criminal records.

Most Surprising Thing About the Organization

Arouet has had astounding success in reducing participant recidivism. “When we started, we aimed to lower the recidivism rate by at least half, but we have far exceeded our expectations,” Rapping said. Since its founding, Arouet’s participants have returned to prison at a fraction of Arizona’s average of 39 percent — consistently lower than 7 percent and under 3 percent for the last four years. 

“It is a testament to the power and impact of our programs and services, which empower and transform the lives of formerly incarcerated women and their families. And it is really a testament to what is possible when surrounded by people who care deeply about you and your growth, coupled with a solid road map for success,” Rapping said.

Tami, an Arouet client, agreed. “It was more than just a place to get help,” she said. “This was a group of people who had been through what I had and understood the challenges I was facing. They embraced me and helped me get a job that can support me and my fur baby!”

Program Highlight

The CASE Academy provides comprehensive training in the Grow with Google certificate program and prepares women to be workforce-ready in STEM fields. The academy has an intensive curriculum that includes workshops, training, guest speakers, hands-on projects, and professional mentoring and guidance. “We augment this training with comprehensive life skills and wraparound services that address our participants and their families’ multiple needs and challenges,” Rapping said. These services include mentorship, professional development training, financial and employment coaching, and access to healthcare resources, housing, transportation and other community resources.

“Arouet has made such a difference in my life. They encouraged me when things were going rough and celebrated all my wins,” said Christine, an Arouet client. “With Arouet, I know I matter.”

Recent Challenges

Arouet has faced challenges in the past few years due to the pandemic and labor shortage. Despite the difficulties, it adapted to the changing circumstances.

“We provided additional support and resources to our participants, who showed remarkable resilience and determination in pursuing their goals,” Rapping said. Morever, Arouet enhanced its services to meet the specific needs of the many women released during the pandemic, who faced incredible challenges adjusting to the new reality.


Arouet is looking forward to launching its Workforce Partnership program, a new initiative that supports businesses interested in fair-chance employment by providing them with resources, tools and guidance on recruiting, training and retaining justice-impacted talent. The program will also create a network of fair-chance employers, who can share best practices and learn from each other.

“We are thrilled to be able to reach more women who are preparing for their transition to the community and provide them with the support and preparation they need to succeed,” Rapping said. “We’re proud of the work we do at Arouet.”

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