A group of prison inmates will make history, becoming the first incarcerated individuals in the U.S. to graduate from a top-10 university.
Northwestern admitted its inaugural inmate class in January 2022. They had already completed coursework from Oakton Community College in Illinois.
The first cohort of graduates has 14 men, including Robert Boyd.
The school highlighted his decision to continue his studies in the program.
“Education is a gift and not a burden—it informed my understanding of self-worth,” Boyd said in a post on the program's Facebook page. “It allowed my mindset to envision a life outside of my circumstances.”
After graduation on Nov. 15, Boyd plans to pursue a master's degree in psychology.
Education wasn't an escape just for Boyd — Michael Broadway said he has poured himself into his studies.
“I want to leave a legacy of ‘never give up’ for my grandbabies," he said.
Northwestern notes the importance of education and staying out of jail. The university says the recidivism rate for incarcerated people is about 67%; however, it drops to 14% for those who earn an associate degree, 5% for those with a bachelor's degree and 0% for those with a master's degree.
Once released from prison, Broadway has big plans. He is determined to start a nonprofit organization that encourages youth to pursue their talents in art, sports, music and STEM.
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