In the News

​The RIDGE Project Receives Award and Grant from Molina Healthcare of Ohio

October 10, 2017

Ron and Catherine Tijerina, Co-Founders and Co-Directors of the RIDGE Project, received a Community

Champion Award from Molina Healthcare of Ohio for their work in helping prisoners reenter their families and communities successfully. The RIDGE Project is an Ohio based, Christian non-profit dedicated to building a legacy of strong families. They have offices in McClure, Ohio and Wooster, Ohio, and have served over 10,000 prisoners and their families with the programming developed by the Tijerinas.

The programs teach participants to become a TYRO, by way of healthy relationship training, fatherhood strengthening, workforce readiness/job readiness assistance, and leadership development. TYRO is a Latin word meaning, apprentice, novice, someone learning something new, a warrior. The TYRO program helps men and women become leaders in their homes, communities and workplaces. The participants learn what is truly worth fighting for- their children’s futures, righteousness, integrity and honor. The TYRO is a nationally recognized, evidence-based program shown to increase employment, reduce recidivism, and deliver hope for a better future.

Ron and Catherine received one of seven awards that recognized individuals who were making a substantial difference in the lives of others across Ohio during Molina’s ninth annual awards ceremony held at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio on October 10th, 2017. “It is such an honor to receive this award on behalf of the TYROs we serve across Ohio. They are the real heroes and champions. They are working hard to bring transformation to their families as they build a new legacy, one of honor- becoming TYROs, men and women worth following,” Ron said as he accepted the award. In addition to the award, The RIDGE Project received a $1,000 grant from Molina. “We are blessed to be a recipient of this prestigious award, and are so thankful for the support from Molina Healthcare,” stated Catherine.

The organization will use the funds to provide family day visits for the families of prisoners, and Welcome Home bags to recently released prisoners to help them as they start to rebuild their lives.

Awards and Commendations

  • 2017 Molina Healthcare Ohio’s Community Champions Award
  • 2017 Featured as an Ohio Business Profile Company by the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office
  • 2016 Ohio Adolescent Health Association Impacting Ohio Youth Award
  • 2015 Commendation by the Ohio House of Representatives
  • 2015 Commendation by the Ohio Senate
  • 2015 National Ass’n. of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ) Community Re-entry awar
  • 2014 Commendation by the Ohio Secretary of State
  • 2014 ​Fatherhood Achievement Award – Ohio Commission of Fatherhood, Ohio U. and OPNFF
  • 2013 Ohio Department or Rehabilitation and Corrections Impact Award
  • 2013 White House Fatherhood Hero Award – Recognized by the DOJ and White House as a Hero for Fatherhood and Families
  • 2012 Youth Rites of Passage (ROP) Program Highlighted in a congressional Report on Best Practices
  • 2012 Program Highlighted at OFA Grantee Conference
  • 2012 Tijerinas invited to the White House – Champion of Change Event
  • 2011 Family strengthening program identified as a best practice by US Dept of HHS
  • 2010 Ron and Catherine receive National Impact Award from Smart Marriage
  • 2010 Program Creativity Award from NAEF, Washington DC
  • 2009-2010 The RIDGE Project Keeping FAITH Program selected by US Dept of HHS to be highlight in a video project of promising practices and selected for inclusion in two HHS publications:
  • 2010 How to Implement Promising Practices
  • 2009 Calvin Edwards and Co. Best Practices Report
  • 2009 Ron & Catherine Tijerina served as expert presenters at the Office of Family Assistance (US Dept of HHS) National Conference
  • 2009 A Review of Select Grantee Profiles and Promising Results
  • 2008-2009 Ron and Catherine Tijerina served as expert presenters for US Dept of Health and Human Services National Webinars​