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SLU's Prison Education Program Working Toward $10,000 Grant

Saint Louis University's Prison Education Program is seeking help from the community in order to secure a $10,000 grant for the program. 

The program needs to raise $20,000 before the end of April in order to secure the $10,000 in funds from the We Raise Foundation. 

Prison Program

SLU Prison Program leaders accepted an award for their work in 2017. Pictured, from left to right, are Chris Collins, S.J., assistant to the president for mission and ministry; Mary Gould, Ph.D., associate professor of communication and Prison Program director; Julie O'Heir, Prison Program community outreach coordinator; Chris Duncan, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Karen Barney, Ph.D., professor emerita of occupational therapy and OT re-entry program co-director; Lisa Jaegers, Ph.D., assistant professor of occupational therapy and OT re-entry program co-director; and Mardell Wilson, Ed.D., dean of the Doisy College of Health Sciences.  

The Prison Program at Saint Louis University is a Jesuit-inspired initiative that provides access to high-quality liberal arts education for people who are incarcerated and prison staff.

This campaign, which opened April 1 and runs through the end of the month, seeks to raise $20,000. If the Prison Program can raise $20,000, We Raise will contribute another $10,000, bringing in a total of $30,000. The campaign has raised $7,200 in the first few days of the month. 

People can contribute to the campaign by going to the campaign site

All funds will support activities of the Prison Education Program, which provides quality higher education opportunities to incarcerated people and prison staff at no cost to students.

In addition to the fundraising effort,  SLU also has a two-year grant from the We Raise Foundation to support non-credit programming.

The program has over 1,200 participants each year at three facilities in the greater St. Louis region.

"The Prison Education Program extends educational opportunities to people in prison, and working in prison, for the benefit of everyone," said Devin Johnston, interim program director. "For a decade, we have offered courses toward an Associate of Arts degree, arts-related workshops, and a Speaker Series at prisons in the St. Louis area. We believe that such experiences foster human connection, spark curiosity, and allow for personal growth."

The prison program has three primary projects at facilities in the greater St. Louis region: