This time of year, there’s a lot of optimism in the air about college. As acceptance notices come in, it seems like the smartest, hardest-working young people with the greatest potential are being matched to institutions of higher learning that will prepare them for… Read More
By The Numbers
Launched in 2012, the Westville College Initiative is a partnership between BPI, the University of Notre Dame, and Holy Cross College at Notre Dame. It operates within Westville Correctional Facility – halfway between South Bend and Chicago, IL. Admission is also run at a second maximum-security prison, from which admittees transfer to Westville. Students study full-time in a curriculum that includes theology, literature, history, business, biology, and mathematics.
Both associate and bachelor’s degrees are offered through Holy Cross College, while most faculty and extensive in-kind support come from Notre Dame. Funding is public and private, recidivism is low, and graduates go on to employment and further higher education across Indiana.
In early December, BPI hosted Morehouse College for the eighth intercollegiate debate at Eastern Correctional Facility. As an underdog facing one of the top teams in the country, BPI’s team won in a close decision.
Resolved: Race-based affirmative action in college and university admissions should be eliminated. BPI defended the proposition and Morehouse opposed. This season, Morehouse is having a banner year and is among the top rated teams nationwide.
Darren is a distinguished member of JustLeadership USA (JLUSA) and actively engaged in the #CloseRikers campaign. Among other awards, JLUSA honored Darren with its Emerging Leadership Award and featured him as a speaker alongside Glenn Martin, John Legend, and the Speaker of the NYC Council, Melissa Mark Viverito. Darren is also the recipient of a prestigious fellowship from the New York Civil Liberties Union’s Community Organizing Institute.
First enrolling with BPI in 2006, Darren received his Associate in Arts degree in 2010. Released in 2012, Darren graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Social Studies from Bard College in 2013. This fall, he enrolled in the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College to pursue a master’s degree in the field.