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Growing Together: Enrolling and Completing a Correspondence Course Make Student and Educator Grow in Unexpected Ways

About six months ago a gentleman from my housing unit, here at FCI Petersburg, earned his GED.  He was very proud of this accomplishment — as was I — and wanted desperately to continue on with his studies.  The gentleman had heard that I wrote a book about prison education — Education Behind Bars: A Win-Win Strategy for Maximum Security — so he came to me to find information regarding correspondence programs open to inmates.  We discussed his interests, aspirations, and financial backing.

To my surprise, this man was interested in becoming a veterinary assistant/technician.  This surprised me because he honestly didn’t act or seem like someone who cared about animals; not that animal lovers look any certain way.  To tell you the truth, he’s one of the loud and obnoxious ones in my housing unit.  So, I was surprised in his interest in continuing his education.  Those who act the way he does typically are more focused on less productive habits in prison.  Needless to say, I was enthralled with his aspiration.

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