THIS IS AN ONGOING EFFORT TO EARN COLLEGE MONEY FOR DAMIEN'S INCARCERATED DAD.
Dear Friends of Smoody and Damien and the rest of us. Smoody just finished two business classes through UW Platteville's Distance Learning Program where he's enrolled in their Business Administration Program thanks to your support. Through me, he was in constant contact with his professors asking important questions about missing components or requesting clarifications on directions, etc., working diligently to have his work to their offices by the DL deadline. He did A work through the entire semester, on homework and unit tests. The final unit for one of his classes was finished and sent (we have the postal receipt) yet the professor claims he never received the work and refused to consider Damien's situation and so gave him a B-. After getting great advice from a former professor and strong supporter of Smoody's education, David Eason, some loud advocating on my part, and some gentle coercing and great problem solving on Smoody's part, the professor relented and gave Smoody an opportunity to redo the work by June 30, today. With some disappointment, Smoody redid the unit. He was hoping the professor would discount that unit but he said no.
Now we are looking to fund 12 credits, or four classes. Any amount will help. $10 on up. Your support has created not only and academic opportunity for a man who would otherwise have none, but it has given Smoody an entirely differently lens through which to see the world. Thank you <3 Damien, Pat, Nina and Maura
Read our story below:
The Higher the Degree, the Lower the Recidivism Rate http://prisonstudiesproject.org/why-prison-education-programs/
Read about how Wisconsin sends more people of color to prison than any other state in the U.S.
18 September 2013 Last updated at 00:03 BST
Please Read the update for current stories about where Smoody is and how education keeps him positive and optimisitc.
Smoody, my grandson's father, is 27 years old and will be in prison for the next 13 years unless he is paroled in 6. He was born into abject poverty to a loving but ever-struggling, often homeless mother, lived on the streets and watched violent men come in and out of his life like we middle class people watch episodes of CSI. Yet, he got himself through high school, often homeless, with A's. He even took the ACT and was admitted into UWM. But selling drugs had always been an easy route to making money for himself and everyone around him. He started selling drugs in grade school to support his family, and continued after high school while attending MATC, attempting to get a degree in business administration so he could eventually go straight. He is not a drug user. During that time he paid healthcare costs for his mother and helped put his younger brother through school in LaCrosse, Wi. He also did a lot of other crazy and dangerous stuff, but still had his sights set on an education, understanding this was his only way out.
Now all he wants to do is bring positive things into his life and get a degree while he serves his time. Money is what stands in the way. Finding work has been difficult or I'd fund it myself. I have college loan payments and Nina, the mother of my grandson, works more than full-time as a nursing assistant at UW Hospital making just enough to make rent and food. For Smoody to reenter society successfully and contribute to Damien's life productively, an education is of essence. Please help support this cause, as the Wisconsin Corrections System works against these guys who want to rehabilitate, directing them to classes offered at the facility that are below their learning capacity. Presently he works as a tutor, helping men get their GED and HSED and has helped the Racine Youthful Offenders prison librarian find ways to cut costs to bring positive and meaningful programs to to the guys who don't have the advocacy that he has. He's determined to turn his life around once he reenters society and his son, my grandson, is what keeps his eye on the prize.
I am an advocate for the incarcerated, belong to organizations that help reduce recidivism rates, and know that in order for my grandson to have a functioning father by the time he's in middle school, his dad needs to be educated. Please donate whatever you can and know that you are helping to create a safer society in general, and are giving this person a chance to be an upstanding citizen for the first time in his life. Like so many incarcerated individuals, he's smart but up against a brick wall without my help. He's dedicated and plans to pay it all forward. Thank you so much for considering even a small donation. You will hear from him with a personal thank you for your support. Pat
What this amount will cover: 5, $1000 accredited correspondence classes plus books and materials through the University of Wisconsin Platteville. That's one semester. He will have up to one year to complete each class due to the labor intensive method of mailing materials. Thank you for supporting this cause. Prison should not be a throw-away institution.
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