CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Incarcerated individuals at Central Pennsylvania prisons are getting weekly lessons in entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Their teachers: three Penn State students.
It’s an all-new partnership with the Smeal College of Business Tarriff Center for Business Ethics and Social Responsibility and the Penn State Restorative Justice Initiative.
“There’s an opportunity to leverage the expertise that people have here within the college and bring those skills to other individuals,” said Michelle Darnell, director of Penn State Smeal’s Tarriff Center for Business Ethics and Social Responsibility.
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The goal is to provide support for inmates as they prepare to re-enter society.
“By teaching some entrepreneurship classes we’re trying to also get them in a position where they can understand that they can take some control over their lives,” said Darnell.
Darnell said it’s a learning opportunity for everyone involved.
“Our students that are teaching these courses, they get a lot of value in terms of being an ethical leader and experiencing what it’s like to help others,” said Darnell. “Participants in these programs are building skills and having these experiences to empower them so that they can change their experiences.”
The students are working with Quehanna Boot Camp and SCI Huntingdon, but Darnell said the impact will be felt beyond the walls of these facilities.
“Our community will benefit from this because the more educated and empowered individuals we have in our community, the better off we all are,” said Darnell.