Gateways for Incarcerated Youth

Connecting incarcerated youth with the Evergreen community to create change through education.

What We Do

Correctional facilities are filled with youth who struggle in traditional educational settings and have been let down by adults. Too many have experienced abuse or neglect, unsafe neighborhoods, homelessness and/or involvement in the foster care system.

Gateways raises public awareness on why it is important to not leave these youth behind.

Would You Take a College Class Inside a Prison? | Gateways

College student Maya had the eye-opening opportunity to take a class through Gateways, an education program that enables incarcerated youth to learn alongside college students. In this premiere episode of Gateways, Maya tells us about the program that introduced her to her four friends, J.J., Terrence, Christian and Daniel, who have all been at one time or are currently incarcerated, and how their lives were improved through education.

Why We Do It

Students with disabilities, and those who require special education services, are four times more likely to be incarcerated. Youth of color are over-represented, both locally and nationally from arrest rates to adult court transfer.

Juvenile correctional facilities cannot meet these complex and unique educational needs alone.

Over 98% of all incarcerated youth are released and return to our communities. However, most do not return to school, earn a high school diploma or pursue post-secondary education.

Get Involved

Despite the barriers that youth in the juvenile system encounter, with the right tools and support they can succeed as students, which sets them up for greater health and success in work and life. Volunteering or donating is a great first step to helping these students succeed. 

How We Do It

Gateways provides the individualized approach needed to reengage incarcerated youth in learning and community. Our focus on culture—helping all students learn their own and respecting others—is critical to breaking the cycle of incarceration, violence and recidivism.

Ways We Engage Incarcerated Youth

  • Evergreen faculty lead seminars at juvenile correctional facilities for course credit at no cost to youth.
  • Youth get time with Evergreen students and volunteers who serve as academic mentors and coaches.

And our program works. Since 1996, over 1,000 incarcerated youth have made academic gains in attendance, grade-level promotion and unlocked their potential for change.

Gateways for Incarcerated Youth



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