Colleges can help the formerly incarcerated transcend past mistakes—and I’m an example

July 9, 2019 | By Yusuf Dahl, director for innovation and entrepreneurship at Lafayette College via University Business

When the Koch network recently announced a new coalition focused on providing work opportunities for the formerly incarcerated, one employment sector was conspicuously absent: higher education. It’s disheartening.

My first job out of prison was as a warehouse laborer earning minimum wage. The job was mind numbing and backbreaking, and did not offer benefits. While I was grateful to work, each shift left me enervated and discouraged. As the computer skills that I learned behind bars atrophied, my ambition to become an IT professional seemed more remote.

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