From our founder: The roots of College Guild, part I

By Julie Zimmerman

CG Founder

Before the germ of a nonprofit even takes shape in a founder’s mind, they meet people who inadvertently point the way.

In 1990, I started a publishing company merely to self-publish, but did well enough to take on enticing manuscripts. The first nudge toward College Guild arrived in the form of an unsolicited manuscript from a prisoner named Jimmy.

Jimmy Tayoun had been a big-city politician caught in a variety of white-collar crimes, and he was serving a 4-year sentence in a federal camp. Never one to languish, the indomitable Mr. Tayoun wrote a manual for people who had been indicted and found guilty titled Going to Prison? Though filled with humor, it was also a serious guidebook to help those who faced the frightening, life-changing experience of incarceration. Out of 60 publications, Jimmy’s book was my most successful, running to five editions. It was purchased not just by those who needed it, or simply for the novelty as a joke gift for a friend, but also by libraries and even colleges for use as a text book!