Giving Compass’ Take:
• Arielle Pierre shares the story of how she and her mother both went to prison and then to college with the help of Hudson Link.
• Can education programs be effectively integrated into prisons? How can philanthropy best support the reintegration of the formerly incarcerated into society?
I was arrested and booked into a jail in Virginia. I didn’t call my mom for a week. She had gotten out of prison a few years earlier, and now I’d have to tell her I was following in her footsteps.
What the hell did I get myself into? I wondered.
I went to court, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to a year in prison. I had already spent eight months behind bars because they denied me bail, and by the time I was transferred to Hazelton prison in West Virginia, I had already served nine months of my sentence.
When I got home, my mother was getting her master’s degree in teaching with the help of Hudson Link, a reentry program that helps formerly incarcerated people get into school and rebuild their lives. My mom told me about St. Francis and their tuition-free college program for former prisoners. But we still lived in Yonkers, and St. Francis is all the way in Brooklyn.
“How am I supposed to get there without a car?” I asked.
“Find a way,” she told me.
As I walked across the stage, I couldn’t believe I was finally graduating. I’d spent the past three years at St. Francis College in Brooklyn finishing my bachelor’s degree in Sociology.
Read the full article about Hudson Link by Arielle Pierre as told to Nicole Lewis at The Marshall Project.
Since you are interested in Higher Education, have you read these selections from Giving Compass related to impact giving and Higher Education?
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