Students from class of 2014
Odyssey alum graduating from UW Madison
Odyssey students at Chazen museum
Odyssey Jumpstart
Odyssey class of 2018
Odyssey alum and family
Odyssey alumni
Odyssey director and Odyssey alumni


The award-winning UW-Madison Odyssey Project takes a whole family approach to breaking the cycle of generational poverty through access to education, giving adult and youth learners a voice, and increasing confidence through reading, writing, and speaking.

Now in its 21st year, this inspirational project has empowered more than 500 low-income adults to find their voices and get a jump start at earning college degrees they never thought possible. Some graduates of the program have journeyed from homelessness to UW-Madison degrees, or from incarceration to meaningful work in the community.

In this six-credit English literature course, UW-Madison faculty members introduce adults to great works of literature, philosophy, history, and art and help them improve skills in writing and critical thinking.  In class, students read, write about, and engage in lively discussions of Emily Dickinson, Martin Luther King, Walt Whitman, Shakespeare, Lorraine Hansberry, and more.

Learn more about Odyssey

Read student writing in the Odyssey Oracles

The 2022-2023 academic year marked the 20th anniversary of the UW Odyssey Project! Click the image to watch our new mini-documentary in celebration of our anniversary, or click the blue button below to learn more about Odyssey’s Programs.

Image of student happily raising her arms. Gray play button on top of image to click through to linked video.

20 years of Odyssey

Odyssey documentary

Watch a documentary about the Odyssey Project that aired on the Big Ten Network!

Make a gift

Your support enables whole families to participate in Odyssey, helping to break a cycle of generational poverty. Make a gift today!

I am blessed to be in the Odyssey Project. This is my bridge towards breaking a horrible cycle of poverty. Everything that I learn I come back after class and teach my children about. My hope is that they retain this amazing information so that they recognize how amazing they are and how much they are loved.

Charllienne Cotto, Odyssey Class of 2014

Odyssey in the news

Odyssey alum

Check out articles about the Odyssey Project featured in the Capital Times, Isthmus, Madison Magazine, Wisconsin State Journal, In Business Madison, and more!

Read about Odyssey in the news

Join our mailing list

Use this form to join the UW Odyssey Project mailing list. Sign up to receive just emails, just print mailings, or both.