Friday, October 28, 2016

Why You Should Volunteer with College Guild


I recently discovered College Guild after discussing my post-undergraduate plans with my best friend Kaiʻolu. I shared with her my passion for social justice with an emphasis on crime. Maybe I've watched too many "Orange is the New Black" episodes, but I truly believe that (almost) everyone deserves a second chance. The criminal justice system is broken and doesn't serve its inhabitants fairly. I've read too many stories about private prisons, corrupt correctional officers and how mass incarceration is The New Jim Crow. Instead of focusing on rehabilitating prisoners, the system treats them like animals locked in cages. College Guild is a non-profit organization that gives incarcerated peoples a chance at a unique education. Their company is entirely based on volunteers, so they can only accept a certain amount of prisoners into their program. I volunteered to become a "reader", which means I will receive weekly course units from different inmates and I can edit their work and provide feedback. The program isn't designed to create pen-pal relationships, but to administer some of the only positive words that some of these people will ever receive. College Guild is highly underfunded and needs as many volunteers as possible so I recommend volunteering an hour of your time to bettering these men and women. Maybe with the right amount of kindness, compassion and course work, they will receive a second chance too.

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