overcoming adversity and achieving dreams through higher education
Pictures of success: A look back at 20 years of the UW Odyssey Project
It’s been a season of extraordinary celebration for the UW–Madison Odyssey Project.
On April 20, 2023, the program held an anniversary event commemorating 20 years of helping individuals of all ages break the cycle of poverty and find their voice through its groundbreaking educational programs.
On May 3, students of the Odyssey Class of 2023 gathered in the Great Hall of Memorial Union with friends, family, staff, and supporters to celebrate their graduation from the two-semester Odyssey course. In this free program, students who never thought college would be possible develop skills in writing, critical thinking, and confidence through their study of the humanities; each graduate earns six college credits from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
This year has also seen planning for the new Odyssey Beyond Wars program, aimed at helping veterans jump-start their education as they transition from military and civilian life, and the launch of Odyssey Senior, an enrichment program for Odyssey students and family members age 60 and above. And Odyssey Junior and Odyssey Beyond Bars continue to expand, serving our youngest learners and those incarcerated in Wisconsin state prisons.
“The Odyssey Project helped me unwrap my gifts and rewrite the story of my life,” one student commented. Odyssey helps students transform their lives through education and has a multigenerational impact. In two decades, more than 2,000 people of all ages have participated in the UW Odyssey Project, reporting life-changing effects for themselves, their families, and their communities.
The 20 photos below offer a snapshot of Odyssey’s remarkable 20-year history — and the people, milestones, and achievements that have made it the award-winning program it is today.
Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.