Our Work

What is Freedom Prep

Freedom Prep, housed with CUNY’s Office of K-16 Initiatives, provides a supported, structured on-ramp to college for currently and formerly incarcerated and court-involved young people age 16-24. Launched in spring 2018 with referrals from exalt youth and Getting Out and Staying Out, the program offers students the opportunity to earn three college credits through a free course, “Reading the Biography.” By spring 2019, partnerships expanded to include over 50 community-based organizations, as well as the NYC Department of Education’s District 79, the Department of Probation, and the Administration for Children’s Services.

Despite experiencing multiple barriers to their education, Freedom Prep inspires students toward further postsecondary study. Participants who have successfully completed the college course have gone on to matriculate at CUNY and SUNY.

Freedom Prep Spring 2019 Final Presentation

At the end of each term, Freedom Prep participants deliver final presentations to their classmates as well as CUNY faculty, administrators, and community partners.