Graphic courtesy of @FirstPCC on Instagram.

FIRST, a student organization at PCC has announced a collaboration with the Prison Education Project (PEP). Advisors, Board members, and students involved in the club collectively strive to support and assist those who are affected by the Prison Industrial Complex in navigating through college in their pursuit of higher education.

The groups created three courses available to take via Zoom in Spring 2021. The courses consist of Intro to Social Justice, Intro to Food Justice, and Intro to Wellness. All classes will meet once a week for 90 minutes for 7 weeks.

We hope that we can lay the foundation for a large official college program offered at PCC where incarcerated individuals can take classes for college credit,” Cecilia Bachmann, a board member of FIRST said when asked what their mission is.

PEP is the largest volunteer-based prison education program in the United States. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and PEP have embraced a progressive and innovative approach to supplementing and expanding educational opportunities for incarcerated individuals. PEP aims to educate, empower, and transform the lives of incarcerated individuals. The goal of PEP is not only to create a “Prison-to-School Pipeline” and provide in-custody students with the cognitive tools necessary to function as productive citizens, but to also assist the CDCR in its mission of rehabilitation.

FIRST initiated a collaboration with PEP to bring PCC faculty, staff and students together as volunteers. They were inspired to do so because a few of their board members and advisors volunteered for PEP sometime last year and said it was life changing.

“Education can be liberation for many. Each volunteer has their own skills, experiences and knowledge which others can benefit from,” Bachmann said.

If you’re interested and are hesitant about joining, there are no prerequisites required and you don’t need to have any previous expereinces.

PCC faculty, staff and students are welcome to join by filling out this interest form. Info Sessions will be held in December and January and there are no prerequisites required for the courses. The December dates are the 14th from 12 to 1 p.m. and the 21st from 4 to 5 p.m. Those who are interested can register on either day through the attached link or their instagram. The January dates will be announced after the Holidays.

We strive to serve the PCC community and student body, and, as such, we will remain inclusive, equitable, and non-discriminatory,” Bachmann said.

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