Wednesday, December 1, 2021

These Inmates at California State Prison Just earned Bachelor’s Degrees (Watch)

*Aaron Benson, an inmate at California State Prison in Lancaster, has just taken a step toward changing his life. He was among the inmates on Tuesday who participated in the first ever Cal State graduation ceremony held inside a state prison.

“None of us thought this would be possible and we faced a lot of adversity in our lives and in here,” he told ABC7. “I’m so proud of everybody.”

Benson joined 22 fellow classmates – all in cap and gowns – to receive his Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies through an educational partnership with Cal State L.A.

Prison inmate and graduate Jason Keaton said he can’t believe it really happened. He said he has plans for the future.

“It’s upon me to get myself together and then go back to the community that I helped tear down, and help build that community up,” Keaton said.

“I can’t change what happened in the past, but all I can do is change what I’m doing now,” inmate and graduate Dara Win said.

Assistant professor Kamran Afary, who has been teaching courses at the prison since 2017 – and now instructing both in person and via Zoom – said of the grads: “It’s an unbelievable moment. We’ve watched these people – the transformation that has taken place over the last four years and all the hard work, the dedication.”

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