California inmates surprise student with scholarship from pooled wages: ‘We want to do good things’

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      As people across the country continue to face hardships amid the novel coronavirus, humanity still exists and happy news persists. In a heartfelt moment, people from two vastly different places, an elite private school and a California state prison, came together to help a student in need. After inmates at California’s Soledad State Prison, the state’s largest prison to house sentenced men, heard a student was struggling to pay his monthly tuition they came together to raise the funds.

      The inmates, called “brothers in blue” by a book reading program the Palma School and prison created to develop understanding between the two groups, raised more than $30,000 from inside prison to create a scholarship for Sy Green. The scholarship will not only help Green, whose parents have suffered medical emergencies, finish school but attend college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CNN reported.

      “Regardless of the poor choices that people make, most people want to take part in something good,” Jason Bryant, a former inmate who played a key role in creating the scholarship, told CNN. “Guys were eager to do it.”

      Bryant shared that while serving his 20 years in prison, he made a regular effort to change his life by educating himself and running a leadership training program for inmates. “I’m never far from the reality that I committed a crime in 1999 that devastated a family—several families—and irreparably harmed my community,” Bryant said. “I keep that close to my heart, and I would hope that people can identify the power of forgiveness and the probability of restoration when people put belief in each other.” This dedication to restorative justice resulted in Bryant’s sentence being commuted in March. According to CNN, he now works as the director for restorative work at Creating Restorative Opportunities and Programs. The organization provides resources to formerly incarcerated individuals including skills training and stable housing.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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