Rising Scholars: New Chance at Life and Education

A rehabilitative network for previously incarcerated individuals gives aspiring students a chance

The Rising Scholars is a statewide network that provides necessary resources and an entry point for currently incarcerated persons to begin or continue their academic careers. The Rising Scholars network was established in 2020 as a result of the merging Corrections to College California program with the Foundation for Community Colleges of California.

The Rising Scholars network is operating in GCC as a part of an independent initiative to provide accessibility to public higher education to currently and formerly incarcerated persons. It provides a unique opportunity for higher education and reintegration into society to people who have been through correctional institutions. The initiative provides a multitude of resources to students such as emotional and psychological counseling, advocacy, housing aid, and food aid. The vast body of resources provided by Rising Scholars is funded by philanthropic donations from several funds such as the Ballmer group, Mellon Foundation, and the ECMC Foundation.

Rising Scholars are active on campus as well, often having events to support students with legal history and help manage the stress and PTSD associated with being in correctional facilities. Rising Scholars also have a club on campus, named “System Impacted Intellectuals.” The SII was first formed in 2018 and is still active on campus.

To read previous reporting on System Impacted from El Vaquero, visit:

System Impacted

Tigran Aslanyan can be reached at [email protected].