Homeboy Industries, founded in 1988, understands that serving justice-impacted individuals has a ripple effect among their families and communities. Each year, they have helped over 9,000 people. Their Pathways to College model, in particular, has been an indispensable beacon of hope for Angelenos, and it is one we are proud to support through a 2023 Michelson Spark Grant

Get to Know the Pathways to College Program

For many justice-impacted individuals, the college enrollment process is seemingly insurmountable. By bringing together current and former students, faculty and staff members from postsecondary institutions, and community organizations, the Pathways to College program offers workshops that help over 40 trainees navigate the application process. In Los Angeles, trainees can also participate in life skills development, tattoo removal, substance abuse support, and more. 

What began in LA has since been shared with organizations on a local and national level. To date, over 400 organizations across the world have learned from the Pathways to College program and helped thousands of people transform their lives through education. 

A New Educational Summit: Pathways To College—Infiltrating Higher Educational Space through Community Collaboration, Shared Wisdom, and Reciprocal Learning

Through a 2023 Smart Justice Spark Grant, Homeboy Industries will host a half-day educational summit for local organizations interested in providing reentry services and educational opportunities. The summit will provide a structured framework and will outline comprehensive documentation to ensure that other organizations can learn the methodology and keys to success of the Pathways to College program and also provide like-minded organizations with the foundational knowledge necessary to tailor it for their communities. After the initial offering, Homeboy Industries’ hope is to offer the summit annually, creating an easily scalable yet still transformative offering. 

The Power of Education 

“I went from being undocumented, from wanting to work under the table to realizing that I could apply to different colleges…I could apply to UCs, I could apply to Cal States, I could get scholarships, I could get financial aid, I could get my rent paid, and then I could do so much with education and that’s what the power of information did to me,” Edin Madrid reflected during “Pathways From Prison to College: Learnings from Homeboy Industries.”

We know that obtaining a degree substantially decreases recidivism rates. In fact, completing an associates of arts degree results in a 13% recidivism rate while a bachelor’s reduces that to 5%, as Brittany Morton, Associate Director of Education at Homeboy Industries shared. Recognizing the power of education, we cannot wait to see the impact of the Prison to College program multiply throughout each participating organization’s community! 

Michelson 20MM is a private, nonprofit foundation working toward equity for underserved and historically underrepresented communities by expanding access to educational and employment opportunities, increasing affordability of educational programs, and ensuring the necessary supports are in place for individuals to thrive. To do so, we work in the following verticals: Digital Equity, Intellectual Property, Smart Justice, Student Basic Needs, and Open Educational Resources (OER). Co-chaired and funded by Alya and Gary Michelson, Michelson 20MM is part of the Michelson Philanthropies network of foundations.

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