Not only will 176 participants and alumni of our program have returned home to their families and communities by year-end, with both the support and life skills needed to succeed outside of prison, but the Hudson Link family has also found a permanent home in our new historic office building located at 23 State Street in Ossining, NY. A home where we can welcome and support our recently released alumni and provide a space for them to improve their computer skills such as learning how to use email and searching the internet; receive assistance with resume writing, job searches and interview preparation; and browse our clothing closet for business and interview attire. Take for example alumnus Alex T., a graduate of Hudson Link / Nyack College’s first graduating class in 2001, and the last remaining member of that class to be released.
After 25 years of incarceration, Alex was released on July 26th and reunited with his family and friends. His first stop, on the way to his new life, was to the Hudson Link office where we celebrated his first day of freedom. Following his visit to our office, Alex wrote to say:
“I am so thankful to Hudson Link for celebrating my first day of freedom and for the gift of the laptop and business clothes. The laptop is such a valuable tool for me. I had minimal experience inside working with word processing and zero experience navigating email and the internet. Today I use my laptop for everything from emails and job searches, to communicating with my grandchildren and helping them with their homework! If it were not for your support, I would be completely lost. It is my hope that you will continue to support the men and women coming home as we begin to live a normal and free life. Thank you for treating me like family!”
Today, just 4 months later, Alex is employed by the Fortune Society as an Alternative to Incarceration Counselor and credits the education he received through Hudson Link with his ability to thrive inside the prison walls and succeed outside of them.
Also in 2016, Hudson Link partnered with Ulster Community College, allowing us to expand our reach and create an associate’s degree-granting program at Shawangunk Correctional Facility. This marks Hudson Link’s presence within six New York State correctional facilities and partnership with our seventh college or university. While each of these monumental achievements directly reflects the hard work put in by both our exceptionally ambitious students and intensely dedicated staff, none could have been possible without your support and dedication to Hudson Link’s mission.
With 478 college degrees awarded to-date, over 450 students currently enrolled in our programs, and more than 580 participants and alumni released from prison, Hudson Link is impacting lives on a scale far greater than we had ever imagined possible. However, we have the potential to expand even further. This year, we have embarked on a $550,000 Capital Campaign to help fund the purchase of our new historic building and ensure that our nationally renowned educational programs can continue to expand and transform the lives of incarcerated men and women, their families and their communities.
Our graduates and their successes truly prove that education serves as the foundation for a better future.
Thank you for your undying devotion to all that we do.