Education, Employment and Second Chances Matter!

Dr. Keri Watson (3rd from right) and Susan Kowalski (far right)

Susan Kowalski, Operation New Hope’s Deputy Director of our READY4WORK Space Coast program location, attended the Florida Prison Education Project (FPEP) Open House last week at the University of Central Florida (UCF).

Founded in 2017, FPEP is an initiative of the University of Central Florida that seeks to offer a high-quality undergraduate education to people who are incarcerated in Central Florida. Drawing upon the unique strengths and assets of UCF to offer impactful programs in mixed modalities that focus on building social relationships, FPEP prepares returning citizens for employment in the 21st-century global economy.

While working at the Central Florida Reception Center (CFRC) in 2017, Susan Kowalski and Dr. Tapley from the Florida Department of Corrections met with UCF and CFRC’s Assistant Warden of Programs, and that was the beginning of post-secondary education at CFRC. “When UCF’s Dr. Keri Watson took the lead, educational opportunities expanded for students wanting a Second Chance, ” said Kowalski. “I am currently coordinating a meeting date for the team at the READY4WORK Orlando program location to meet with UCF’s FPEP to see how we can partner with UCF. It would be great for us continue the work that UCF FPEP starts with students (inmates) pre-release once they are released. I can see a seamless pathway for the prison to college pipeline.”

Thanks Susan and everyone at FPEP and UCF for working to help more people prepare for success after involvement with the criminal justice system. Education, Employment, and Second Chances Matter!

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