Grantee Stories - We Raise Foundation

Grantee Stories

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Former Grantee Partner Transforming Lives Inside and Beyond Prison Walls through Higher Education Program

Transitioning back to the community after two decades in a maximum-security prison presented many challenges. However, Courtney Everett was confident that he would eventually succeed after he was released in June 2021. For him, it meant learning to communicate and applying what he learned from the Saint Louis University (SLU) Prison Education Program.

“When I re-entered into society, I had concerns about starting a professional career in my late 40s and being accepted in the world I wanted to live in,” said Everett, an SLU graduate. “But I learned a lot from the Prison Education Program—not just classroom work, but it changed my perspective. For the first time in my life, I had teachers that allowed me to call them by their first names. These were the same types of educated, cultured, and successful people that I didn’t believe I belonged around. These professors created a more nurturing environment in a prison visiting room approximately 10 feet away from the Missouri Department of Correction’s Execution Chamber than I had in high school and community college.”

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