Two students serving time at the Davao City, Anthony and Brions, received their four-year degree from the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) Mintal Campus at a ceremony held at the facility on Tuesday, June 28, 2023. The commencement celebrated graduates of the 2020 through 2023 classes, as COVID-19 suspended both in-person learning and gatherings for over a year. This degree program, made possible through SETBI’s College Education Behind Bar in partnership with the BJMP and USeP, makes higher education accessible to offenders currently incarcerated and prepares them for successful reentry. “Only a few short years ago, being in prison was the end of the road,” said Anthony. “We didn’t have anything to hope for to change our future. The opportunities that SETBI College Education Behind Bars brings is already influencing our lives.” Anthony, who has been incarcerated for eight years but was granted special permission to attend his graduation, admits, “College has not been easy, especially for me,” he continued. “I finished high school over 40 years ago. But this graduating class had to overcome many burdens, including corona-related hardships.” Still incarcerated, Brions received her degree in abstentia. While the rest of the world moved to online learning, SETBI students remained module-based due to their restricted access to the internet. During COVID Davao City jail facilities were closed to all outside visitors and volunteers, meaning students could not receive direct instruction from their professors. This group of students overcame many challenges. Congratulations for their success !!!
June 28, 2023