Something I am really passionate about that I became connected with through Pitzer is the Prison Education Project. PEP is a program that creates educational opportunities for inmates in California. I have been volunteering with PEP for about a year now and it has been such an incredible experience. This semester I have been co-teaching a creative writing class in a women’s prison. It has been such a learning experience for me in that I have very little teaching experience, as well as being able to interact with people who would typically be outside the Claremont College experience.

While many people know that the prison system is flawed and are in support of reform, Pitzer and PEP has given me the opportunity to have hands-on experience. The program has allowed me to understand the issue in a more holistic way while also giving faces to some of the individuals truly being affected by this system. It has been a very humanizing, humbling opportunity volunteering with PEP and something I plan to continue to be involved with.

Pitzer students are involved with a variety of off campus programs and organizations. It is common for a student to volunteer regularly and something that is encouraged. We have the Community Engagement Center on campus that helps students find opportunities which makes it easy to get involved. If you would like to learn more about the many ways we engage with our community check out the website!

Posted by Anna Pleskunas ’15, Philosophy and Art

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