For the first time in Odyssey’s history, we are beginning a new online-only class. The challenges are immense, as we will be working to create a warm community and life-changing effects without in-person discussions, hugs, performances, field trips, and shared meals. From securing laptops, stipends for Wi‑Fi access and food, child-care assistance and enrichment through an online Odyssey Junior, and creative approaches to online instruction, we are determined to pull this off for over 30 adults near the poverty level eager to begin their journeys with us September 2.
Students in the new class range in age from 20 to 57, and 94 percent are from communities of color. All have dreams and hope our program helps them overcome obstacles. One student observed during her interview, “Now that I have a child, I want to show her that I don’t quit. No one in my family has graduated from high school or college.” Another commented, “My girls are my push. I’m shy but open-minded and friendly. I used to like writing poetry. I would be the first in my family to go to college.” Our new students have dreams of becoming nurses, teachers, lawyers, social workers, and writers, and we will do everything we can to empower them to reach their goals.