“The Odyssey Project has been life changing not just for the students in the program but for me as well,” Odyssey Codirector Emily Auerbach remarks in a new video launching the UW’s Community Chats series. Emily’s video begins a series of UW talks with local leaders who received the LaMarr Billups Community‐University Engagement Award.
Interviewer Brenda Gonzalez, UW’s Director of Community Relations, asks Emily to describe the link between her own family story and Odyssey: “Born in poverty in Appalachia with no running water… my mother had gifts inside. She was just waiting for a chance to use those gifts and change the trajectory of her life, and that’s what we see year after year with the Odyssey Project.” During the 20‑minute interview, Emily shares poignant stories of Odyssey students overcoming obstacles and praises her team for keeping Odyssey going online.
“I have to say that with the pandemic and with the racial injustice that came to a head in the summer of 2020, I feel more than ever that the Odyssey Project can play an important role in moving the needle toward college access and equity across the board.”
Emily also explains the need for wraparound support for Odyssey families at the poverty level: “Socrates, Shakespeare and Martin Luther King are wonderful but don’t put food on the table that day.” Our Friends of Odyssey Family Fund is what allows us to provide this much‑needed support to our students and alumni. Please consider making a gift to support our families today.