Odyssey Beyond Bars returns in-person at Oakhill

Mark, a student in English 100 at Oakhill this fall sitting in a classroom

“You’re only remembered by what you did in your time on earth, and I want to be remembered as a valiant man that despite his mistakes and hardships took a horrific situation and turned it into a story of resilience and victory.”

–Mark, a student in English 100 at Oakhill this fall

Hooray! Odyssey Beyond Bars’ popular English 100 course is back in person this fall at Oakhill Correctional! And what a relief it is to be back inside with our students. We were able to keep our classes going and our learning community together in the past year through Zoom and remote teaching, but we all felt a sense of separation. As Professor Kevin Mullen shares, “It’s just an amazing feeling to be back in the classroom with the students. I can feel their energy, excitement and desire to learn, and this group has already grown into such a strong community in a short period of time.”

Now, Kevin and his 13 new students are back to sitting around tables, practicing their writing skills, developing their sense of voice and sharing their experiences with the learning process.  As we often see in Odyssey, this kind of intense academic work often prompts thinking about long-term goals. English 100 student Mark writes: “Every word that I use has meaning and purpose behind it, and when you become passionate about something there is nothing that can stop you or get in your way.”

Kevin is also happy to bring his dynamic student support team of advisors, tutors and storytelling coaches back to Oakhill for in-person visits. This contact is restorative not only for the students but for those on the OBB team who work to support them. We missed our students! We are especially grateful for the hard work of the Oakhill staff that enabled us to return.  Thank you, Oakhill.