Ashley Furst is currently the Director of Business Development & Community Engagement for Breakthrough, a nonprofit organization based in Denver, CO, that prides itself in transforming the lives of incarcerated individuals and shifting the community’s perception of the incarcerated population. Prior to this role, she was the Senior Program Manager for Employment Opportunities at the Responsible Business Initiative for Justice (RBIJ), where she worked on the award-winning Unlock Potential hiring program, bringing in businesses to support their hiring from the Opportunity Youth population, as well as Fair Chance Hiring. During her time at RBIJ, she also published a roadmap designed to drive the adoption of Second Chance Hiring within businesses entitled, “Hiring Justice-Involved Talent; Practical Steps to Becoming a Second Chance Employer.”
Ashley believes that people are more than their worst mistakes and that breakdowns can become breakthroughs. As a justice-impacted individual herself, having done time in federal prison, she understands the unique needs the justice-impacted population faces upon reentry, the lifelong barriers that are designed to prevent success, and fiercely believes in the power of second chances.
She currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Colorado Fair Chance Hiring Initiative, a unique partnership program between the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, Colorado Department of Corrections, and Latino Coalition, designed to mobilize employers towards engaging in fair chance hiring so justice-impacted individuals can connect to career pathways that provide a livable wage. She holds an MS in Marketing from Johns Hopkins University and a BS in English from Towson University.