Fledgling NJ Program Paves a Path from Corrections to College

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This month, our sister publication Youth Today features a  piece on prison-to-college initiatives by Jamaal Abdul-Alim, a Washington D.C.-based freelance writer. Youth Today, is dedicated to providing quality journalism on issues of interest to those involved in the youth services industry. This, of course, includes stories in the arena of juvenile justice such as Jamaal’s excellent story well as another juvenile justice-related piece on reforms taking place in the District of Columbia written by our correspondent there Kaukab Jhumra Smith. But this month’s issue also includes stories on what youth-oriented organizations should do to prepare for natural disasters, how to head off abusive relationships between teens, book reviews, opinion pieces, an explainer on the art of statistics and a photo spread on the impact of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on the youth-oriented organizations and young people.

Youth Today prints six time a year. You may also see postings daily at its website youthtoday.org

Have a look at an excerpt of Jamaal’s story below:

A little more than a decade ago, then-22-year-old Danny Feliciano stood at the front end of a six-year sentence in a youth correctional facility for robbery.

Today, the former inmate counsels young court-referred individuals as a Youth & Family Counselor at La Casa de Don Pedro Inc., a nonprofit agency that provides social services to the Hispanic community in Newark, N.J.

If you ask Feliciano what helped him make the 180-degree turn, after thanking God, he’ll tell you about the Mountainview Program that operates on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University.

Though a fledgling program that is currently unfunded and staffed by volunteers, proponents describe it as one of the rare but vital portals that enable current and former inmates to move from the world of corrections to the world of college.

For the full essay, click here.

Photo by Robert Stolarick

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