A few days ago I received the email below from a staff member at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women in York. As many know, we have been offering a degree program for a cohort of women at the facility. The first cohort is about finished and we hope to start another next year. Faculty love teaching there because the students are so engaged and interested in studying and improving their lives. Students in the program are effusive in their thanks that we provide this program and allow them to see a better life...
J Edward Epp
Nebraska Correctional Center for Women
"This morning my computer went down for a couple of hours. And therefore I spent a little bit more time in the classroom listening to Erin DeHart and Tim Lewis teach. And that indeed was an awesome thing.
"I got to listen to just a little bit of what Erin DeHart was teaching, but she had the ladies around in a circle talking about the holocaust and having a tough and good discussion about prejudice and how it happened and how it still does. And the ladies were right there with her the whole time, completely engaged. And there is no doubt that learning took place this morning and there was transformation this morning because of the things that they were talking about. Erin is going above and beyond with bringing a Holocaust survivor here to speak with the ladies. And she is making sure there is time with just the class and the survivor because Erin wants them to get to know each other and ask questions. The ladies are looking forward to this and there is no doubt that the ladies know how special this opportunity is.
I got to spend more time in class with Tim Lewis. And what a pleasure that was. What an encouraging and uplifting man. While he was talking about business interviews and interviewing, he moved it to where the women were. And in the process of his teaching, he said “Ok I am going to put one of you on the spot. But I want you to think about this. Think about this question and come up with your answer. The question is , what is it that you are most proud of in your life. What are you most proud of in your life?” And he pointed to one of the ladies and she said (something to this effect) that there hadn’t been a lot that she was proud of. She thought that she would never amount to much because going to class and furthering her education wasn’t something she thought she could do. But here I am in York College, taking college classes and getting a 4.0. And I am doing it. I am doing it. I am most proud of this. She had emotion in her voice and then she looked over to her friend and they high-fived each other. And they said “yeah.” Yeah. And then Tim took this and expounded on it and told each of them that what they were doing was indeed a great thing. And he said what they were doing was hard but they were doing great. And he encouraged them and blessed them.
I want to make sure we understand this. There is at least one woman (there are probably more) here at NCCW that says that the thing she is most proud of in her life is going to York College. I don’t know about you but that gets me. And the only way that is possible, the only reason that she would say this is because of the people that have come here to teach. These York College professors, everyone of them, have made such an impact on these ladies. They have changed and transformed their lives. And that is an incredible thing. Did you know that York College is the only programming I know of here at NCCW that has a 100% retention rate? Not one person has dropped out and no one is even close. And the only reason, as far as I am concerned, is because of the connection between the faculty and the students.
So thank you to Erin and Tim for this morning. It made my day. Thank you to the other professors that have taken the extra time to come here and teach and thank you for caring and loving these women. Thank you to York College for making it happen. And thank you to who ever dreamed this idea up. I think that it means the world to some of these women.
Just wanted to share. I think this is what we are supposed to be about."
It is hard to make people understand that the mission of York College, transforming lives through Christ-centered education, is not just a statement that we construct to define programs, it is the life and breath of who we are. It is lived out in the lives of all who work here, especially our dedicated faculty who touch the lives of students everyday.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.