Alumni Spotlight: Timothy Thomas (P’20) Completes Bachelor’s Degree

Posted in News

Pivot Class of 2020 graduate Tim Thomas recently completed a college degree, earning his bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point this August. 

During his incarceration, Thomas began taking courses until he was just a few credits short of receiving a college degree. Upon his release, he entered the Pivot Program and with the assistance of the Pivot team began researching and found that it was possible to transfer the credits he had earned into a four-year degree program.

“Although I earned this degree in 2020, this was a lifetime effort that I should have actually completed some time ago, I’m just getting credit for it right now,” Thomas said.

Looking forward, Thomas is considering continuing studying towards a master’s degree in public policy or the social sciences or a law degree.

“What I have to do is figure out now how I can market myself using a bachelor’s degree because it opens so many more doors and maybe better job employment,” Thomas said.

Currently, Thomas is working on developing his business venture Fact Law Research, which provides supplemental resources to lawyers on critical cases. Thomas conceived his business idea during his time at the Pivot Program and earned a third place prize of $1,000 at the Pivot Pitch Competition last July.

While Thomas has been successfully connecting with criminal law attorneys and has been hired to work on cases, he also spoke to the challenges of launching a startup. 

“From my experience coming out of the Pivot Program and now working for my own startup, I think more support needs to be built in place systematically,” Thomas said. “For those of us returning from prison, the failure rate is extremely high.”

Thomas credits Pivot for providing him with the support he needed to succeed.

“It takes a lot of discipline, a sustained amount of discipline to do the work. I mean, I hadn’t stayed up late at night for quite a while, but for some exams I had to burn the midnight oil,” Thomas said. “But they built a support system and I think they went out of their way to build a support system around me to help me get through the program.”

“It’s really been one of the best and most rewarding experiences in my entire life to have been accepted into Pivot, not only because of the professors, but because of my fellow cohort members,” Thomas said.