Session 9 - “Risk Taking, Barrier Breaking, Bold Leadership” - Catherine Rohr

Spkr_cRohr_lg At age 30, Catherine Rohr is the CEO and founder of the nonprofit Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP). Under her leadership, the program recruits volunteer senior business executives who provide training, mentoring, and support to prison inmates. The participants in this one-of-a-kind program have achieved a 98 percent employment rate and have launched 40 entrepreneurial businesses. Currently PEP is refining resources to replicate its model in facilities nationwide.

Lois and I heard an interview with Rohr on the Catalyst Podcast and were fascinated with her work. I’m so excited to see this interview.


  • The prison is full of proven entrepreneurs
  • A mission trip, exposing her to injustice, changed her world after college
  • Because of her calling, she was willing to risk everything - went completely broke funding the vision (including 401K) - when got to Texas her possessions stolen so starting with nothing when she got there
  • We’re grace junkies - okay with old school murderers like David, Moses and Paul but not with people who have done time now
  • Look for the best criminal leaders and work with them
  • God doesn’t need me; he just wants me to be obedient
  • Modeled it after what Jesus did in going after a bunch of so-called losers.
  • People are wowed by her story, but why, she asks. How lame to be in NY doing million dollar deals. 
  • I know there are a lot of beat downs but reconnect with the vision God gave you. I dare you to pray, "Bring it on, God."
  • Interesting: They're looking for the "who" before the "where" as they look to multiply this incredible program.

Oh my gosh! Can’t capture this on highlights, but what an absolutely great session. I want everyone I know to see this one.