One Page Bio

Who is Michelle?

Michelle was raised in generational poverty, becoming involved in the judicial system at age 10. By age 12, she was a felon. Following stays in detention centers, she was sentenced to 15 months in the Department of Youth Services (DYS), a juvenile prison. After release on parole, she began selling drugs at the age of 17. This lifestyle landed her a 3-year stay in the Ohio Reformatory for Women, and it was during this time in prison that Michelle found herself.

Upon her release, her probation officer referred her to the Getting Ahead program. While in “GA,” she met people who supported her reentry and helped her navigate through life. She was able to obtain a bachelor’s degree in social work and became increasingly involved in the community.

She currently serves as the Co-chair of the Mid-Ohio Reentry Coalition, Co-chair of the Felony Assistance team, Vice-President of Marion Matters, and sits on the Advisory Committee for Marion County Common Pleas Reentry Court Special Docket. She is employed as the Reentry Coordinator/Probation Officer for Marion County Common Pleas Court.


  • Associates of Science, Marion Technical College
  • Bachelors of Science, Mount Vernon Nazarene University

Work History

  • Program Aide, Turning Point
  • Legal Secretary/Aid, Society of Columbus
  • Reentry Coordinator/Probation Officer, Marion County Adult Probation Department


  • Getting Ahead while Getting Out (Co-author, with Philip DeVol and Mitchell Libster)

Michelle’s aha! Moment

In 2011 at my first Addressing the Challenges of Poverty Conference, I observed other Getting Ahead graduates be innovative and bring ideas to the problem solving table. “GA” helped me so much in my reentry journey that I had an aha moment, which led me to take the GA material inside a correctional institution to help those returning to society.

Michelle’s Passions

Helping returning citizens overcome barriers and have a successful reentry – the stories of perseverance keep me going.

What Michelle likes to do for fun

I enjoy spending time with my boys, including traveling the state to watch them play sports, taking vacations, camping, and boating.