How can you help?
PEP volunteers help by investing their time and sharing their personal experiences and knowledge. Volunteers expose inmates to substantive content that allows the inmates to transform their lives. Each volunteer commits to one 90-minute session per week for seven weeks. Volunteers visit correctional facilities and give Academic Orientation presentations, Career Development workshops, or tutor inmates to help them prepare to pass the General Education Development test.
What do Volunteers do?
- Academic Orientation Module: Student volunteers give Academic Orientation presentations to expose inmate-students to college (e.g., majors, classes, college life, careers, etc.). Volunteers also give mini-lectures based on content in their majors. There are 5-6 student volunteers in each session.
GED Tutoring Module: Student volunteers tutor Language Arts and Math in the Adult Basic Education skills program for inmates. The primary goal is to improve the academic skills necessary for inmates to pass the General Education Development (GED) test. A secondary goal of GED success is to foster aspirations for higher education.
Career Development Module: Graduate student volunteers and community volunteers conduct Career Development workshops on resume-building, job searching, soft skills, and interview skills for inmates who have two years or less to serve as preparation for their reintegration into the community.
Interdisciplinary Courses Module: University professors and graduate students teach interdisciplinary courses in: “U.S. Economic Policies,” “Introduction to Psychology," "Introduction to Communication," "Introduction to Film Studies," and "Introduction to Philosophy,” among other courses.
The Faculty Forum: This forum brings in faculty from colleges in the region to give introductory lectures in their disciplines.
- Enrichment Module: This module includes the PEP Art program. It also includes modules on Creative Writing, Spoken Word, Yoga, Modern Dance, and Stand Up Comedy. PEP Art (featured on NPR) is coordinated by PEP Art Director, Tom Skelly. Skelly has taught art in California correctional facilities since 1980. Inmates have the opportunity to exhibit their art bi-annually during the Pomona Artwalk (see PEP Art at bottom of page). See the feature on PEP art instructor, Shelley Bruce.
There are two 7-Week PEP semesters during the year: Fall and Spring. There is a mandatory orientation session for new volunteers at the beginning of each PEP semester. See PEP Fall 2016 Modules. Spring Sessions will take place from February 20 to April 7, 2017. The mandatory CDCR training for the Fall 2017 PEP Semester will be held on Sunday, October 1, 2:00-4:00 p.m. at Cal Poly Pomona, Bronco Student Center, Ursa Minor Room.
- PEP Student Volunteers are from: Cal Poly Pomona, Pitzer College, Cal State Los Angeles, USC,
Cal State Fullerton, Cal State San Bernardino, Cal State Channel Islands, Occidental College, El Camino College, Sacramento State University, UC Merced, San Jose State, Cal State Stanislaus, Scripps College, Harvey Mudd College, and the University of the Pacific. PEP volunteers from Google conduct the Career Development training in the Santa Clara County Jail.