Alumni Spotlight – A Ripple of Hope

If you have been a reader of our newsletter for several years, you may recognize the name Geoffrey Schlottman. His story first appeared in our newsletter over 20 years ago in 2001, and today, he is still connected with OHB and strongly supports our mission. Recently, Geoffrey shared a domino effect story which he states, “was seeded in the early 1990s because of my time as an OHB resident.” During the previous sixteen years, Geoffrey and his team have assisted more than 700 individuals earn their G.E.D., high school diploma and/or a college degree or certificate. 

As a young child, Geoffrey Schlottman never quite knew what to expect from his mother. One day she’d tell him and his older half-brother, Charles, how much she loved them. The next day she’d go on a tirade about how she wished they’d never been born. This was their childhood reality. Because of his mother’s unpredictable mental state and the absence of a father figure, Geoffrey and Charles were removed from their home just outside of Chicago. In 1989, Geoffrey arrived at Omaha Home for Boys, and in his view, that’s when the foundation for his future was seeded. 

Geoffrey and his family

During his years at OHB, Geoffrey learned the value of hard work, gained self-confidence and began to understand the importance of education as a tool for ensuring a meaningful future. “Mr. Alan Berk (former OHB Education Director) had a huge influence on my life,” shared Geoffrey. “He helped me believe I was intelligent and could have a positive and hopeful future if I applied myself in the classroom and remained committed.”  

Before Geoffrey arrived at OHB, he wasn’t sure he’d even finish high school. However, with the support and encouragement of Mr. Berk along with a work ethic instilled at OHB, Geoffrey not only completed high school a semester early, but went on to earn five college degrees between 1997-2003, because of OHB’s Scholarship program. In December 2001, Geoffrey earned a master’s degree in teaching from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky.  

Today, the domino effect which started decades ago when Geoffrey was a young teen at OHB, is having a positive impact in the lives of hundreds of incarcerated individuals. Currently, Geoffrey is the Regional Education Administrator for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, South Central Region and supports thousands of incarcerated adults attempting to change their lives through the transformative power of education. Several years ago, Geoffrey helped an incarcerated young man named Ramsey, apply and get accepted into the University of Michigan. Ramsey later became the student body president and earned his master’s degree in business administration, with distinction, in May 2023. Currently, Ramsey is working on his Ph.D. and is the founder of a reentry organization called Second Chance Nation.  

“Ramsey credits his accomplishments to the help he received from me and our team, but I credit my success to Mr. Berk and the foundation I received at OHB,” said Geoffrey. “I love having the opportunity of sharing my story with adults in our custody and letting them know they too can succeed if they apply themselves and remain committed to learning and growing in new ways. I am forever indebted to Mr. Berk and Omaha Home for Boys!” 

Geoffrey is living proof that lessons instilled right here at OHB are worth paying forward. 

Geoffrey Schlottman

You Are Part of a Greater Cause 

“Your partnership with Omaha Home for Boys is worth every penny, prayer and tear – for you are in the business of restoration, healing and character formation. You are ambassadors of a cause greater than you will ever fully understand. I was just a lost boy, trying to make my way in this uncertain world, and you supported me during such a formative time in my young life, allowing my dreams to become a reality. For that, I will forever be indebted to you!” – Geoffrey Schlottman