Success Stories: Catch up with Adrianne Thompson

Adrianne Thompson's journey from incarceration to becoming a leading voice in servicing the justice-impacted community is one of tenacity and empowerment. Adrianne's story began with her participation in the Lipscomb LIFE program, an innovative initiative that shares space with THEI in the Higher Education in Prison (HEP) sector.

Adrianne's involvement with the first Lipscomb LIFE Masters program started with just one class, where students on the outside sat alongside their peers on the inside every Wednesday night. Post-release, Adrianne completed her Master's in Christian Ministry on the outside, creating Lipscomb University history.  Through Lipscomb LIFE, Adrianne not only received an education but also built relationships and community, learning that being true to oneself is key to growth and success.

You can learn more about Adrianne’s journey with the Lipscomb LIFE Program here.

Life After Graduation

Since graduating in December 2021, Adrianne shares her story and insight into HEP and Reentry through various speaking engagements and other activities.  She challenges perceptions by asking, "What do you see when you see me?" highlighting the importance of seeing beyond stereotypes and recognizing the humanity in every individual. She has spoken on Christian podcasts advocating for post-incarceration support, autonomy, and success.

Adrianne is involved in various community initiatives, including her past work with the Nashville Area Rescue Mission. In addition to her position at THEI, she also works full-time at UpRise Nashville as the Social Service Coordinator to alleviate barriers while emboldening individuals to become the best version of themselves. Adrianne's work extends to the Advisory Board for Tennessee Prison Outreach Ministry (TPOM), where she continues to advocate for justice-impacted individuals and their successful reentry into society.

Empowering Women in Reentry

Adrianne is particularly passionate about empowering women in reentry. She believes that the hardest thing for women is realizing “it's okay to ask for help.” In her experience, it’s been much easier for women to sit back and “be quiet;” but, that is not how progress happens. There are many justice-impacted women who are hurting and in need, and through her work, Adrianne aims to create safe spaces where women can find their voice, realize their power, and start moving their feet.

“We are here, and we are moving,” Adrianne says.

From confinement to advocacy, Adrianne has never lost sight of the purpose. Her path embodies the transformative influence of education and community support.  Adrianne’s commitment to aiding others in recognizing their potential and breaking the cycle of incarceration highlights the importance of empathy, understanding, and the resiliency to continue moving forward.