Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hudson Link, a privately funded non-profit corporation, organizes college degree programs in six New York State prisons. Several years ago, Sean Pica, Executive Director of this amazing program, came to give us an overview of the organization, its successes and its challenges, and his own experience in the prison education system. His presentation was followed by a very successful clothing drive for recently released program graduates.


On April 18, we will hear from two Hudson Link representatives, Damian Rossney and Billy Seales. While incarcerated, both of these men earned college degrees. Billy, in fact, earned three! They will give us an update on Hudson Link’s expansion since Sean was with us, with particular focus on new initiatives designed to assist program alumni when they come home from prison.


Damian runs Hudson Link’s recently launched New Beginnings Program, which will offer Hudson Link graduates transitional housing and other assistance vital to a successful re-entry into society. Billy has been home for just 11 months and will share his very recent experience dealing with the challenges faced by all returning from prison – even those returning with a college degree.


Their talk will be followed up with another clothing drive. As you can imagine, for someone who has been wearing prison greens for years, proper civilian clothing is a must and is sorely needed. (New York, which is not atypical, gives a released inmate only $40 and a bus ticket home.) This year’s drive will take place on Wednesday, May 2. Just bring those gently worn items (suits, ties, shirts, pants, sweaters, coats, etc.) that’s been clogging up your closet to the DCA parking lot before our meeting on May 2; a Hudson Link van will be waiting to take it to the Hudson Link office in Ossining, where it will be Ossining office where it will change someone’s life. It will be much appreciated!