Odyssey alumni

Support Odyssey

Your gift helps Odyssey students and graduates with both their educational and personal expenses while they attend college. Additionally, your support makes possible Odyssey Junior, exciting whole families about education and their future, and Odyssey Beyond Bars, bringing transformative education to Wisconsin’s prisons. See below for our four funds so you can choose the one(s) you most want to support.

Odyssey Project Fund

This fund supports academic programming, including tuition, textbooks, and other expenses associated with Onward Odyssey and the core Odyssey course.

Support the Odyssey Project Fund >>

Odyssey Beyond Bars Fund

This fund supports Odyssey’s academic programming and opportunities for learners in Wisconsin prisons.

Support the Odyssey Beyond Bars Fund >>

Friends of Odyssey Family Fund

This fund supports Odyssey Junior, tech access for students, helps families with basic living expenses and unanticipated emergencies, and funds Odyssey’s greatest needs.

Support the Odyssey Family Fund >>

Odyssey Future Fund

This endowment fund supports Odyssey’s adults and youth academic programs, helping ensure the program’s long-term sustainability.

Support the Odyssey Future Fund >>

Celebrating Craig Werner

This permanent endowment fund will support students enrolled in the Odyssey course, those continuing in college after Odyssey, children enrolled in Odyssey Junior, and students enrolled in Odyssey Beyond Bars.

Learn more about the Craig Werner Odyssey Scholars Fund>>

To mail your gift: 

Send a check made payable to UW Foundation and indicate which fund you are supporting in the memo line:

  • Odyssey Project Fund
  • Friends of Odyssey Family Fund
  • Odyssey Beyond Bars Fund
  • Odyssey Future Fund

Mail to:
UW Foundation
US Bank Lockbox 78807
Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807

To set up monthly donations to Odyssey,  click on any of the links above to support the Odyssey Project Fund, the Friends of Odyssey Family Fund, the Odyssey Beyond Bars Fund, or the Odyssey Future Fund.

University of Wisconsin Foundation’s Tax ID number is: 39-0743975. Please be sure to specify which fund you would like your donation to be applied to for any gifts made to UW Foundation.

All donations to the Odyssey Project are tax deductible.

Other ways to support Odyssey


Check out volunteer options and sign up >>

Odyssey volunteerA popular way people choose to volunteer is by providing a meal for adults in the Odyssey Course and children in Odyssey Junior on Wednesday nights from September to May. This adds up to roughly 90 students and staff that we feed each night, so any help is much appreciated! We have found that meal time together fosters friendship and conversation among our students in both the Odyssey Course and Odyssey Junior. It also gives our students a sense that their community supports them in their endeavors to break the cycle of generational poverty through hard work at their education. Sandy (right) has been providing wonderful meals for Odyssey students for many years now. She says this about her work with Odyssey: “The students of the Odyssey Project are amazing. Members of my PEO Chapter BC are happy to be able to provide some meals for Odyssey students.”

COVID-19 update: Adult Odyssey classes have been switched to in-person while Odyssey Junior classes remain online. Due to UW-Madison protocol, we will not be able to accept any donated meals at this time. As an alternative, we are accepting monetary donations that can be put towards purchasing pre-packaged meals for in-person classes, or grocery gift cards given to Odyssey Junior families.

Donate now >>

Donate via your IRA

Those who receive an IRA may satisfy their required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year and reduce their taxable income by donating to the UW Odyssey Project! Contact your IRA plan administrator for help setting this up. The IRA funds can be directly transferred to either the Odyssey Project Fund or the Friends of Odyssey Family Fund. Please make sure to specify which fund you would like to support when initiating this process. To make an IRA charitable rollover gift, contact your IRA custodian and request that an amount be transferred directly to the UW Odyssey Project. For support, please call Jenny Pressman at 608-287-8216, or contact your IRA plan administrator or financial advisor.

Fulfill wish lists

For Odyssey Junior (enrichment classes for the children of Odyssey students and alumni), we can use art supplies, puzzles, games, notebooks, children’s books, etc. We have compiled these items into one “Wish List” on Amazon (below). We also could use gift cards for families (gas cards, dept stores like Target, grocery stores) to use as prizes and for emergencies.

Donate meal supplies

Another way to help both the adult Odyssey class and Odyssey Junior is to donate meal supplies for the dinners we serve every Wednesday night before class. Each night we usually serve around 90 students between all of the classes, so we tend to go through materials quickly. Items that we could use include: plastic containers to send home leftovers with our students, napkins, plastic forks/spoons, paper plates (the sturdier the better) and bowls, plastic cups (9 oz and 16 oz), Ziploc bags (sandwich and gallon), and paper towels.

COVID-19 update: These items are currently not needed due to meals being pre-packaged for in-person classes. 


Jenny Pressman

Position title: Director of Development and Community Partnerships

Email: jenny.pressman@wisc.edu

Phone: 608-287-8216