Soledad Inmates Provide Scholarship for Academy of Arts Freshman

By Nickolas Kwok

SAN FRANCISCO- Academy of Arts freshman Syon Green was able to finish his high school career with a scholarship provided by the Soledad inmates with the hope that Green is not the last to receive such a scholarship.

The Soledad Correctional Training Facility started a program with Palma School about five years ago to connect high school students with inmates. One such connection was between Green and Jason Bryant, who initiated the scholarship for Green.

Green, now a freshman at Academy of Arts University, first began his involvement in this program when he was a sophomore in high school. He describes how a typical day in the program would include reading different novels with the inmates and discussing with them.

Through this activity, former Correctional Training Facility inmate Bryant was able to connect with Green and would often discuss much more than just novels. These life lessons were important to Green as he states the main thing he learned from the inmates was compassion.

The compassion went both ways as Bryant decided that he should help students at the Palma School who were not able to afford it.

Bryant, who was released eight months ago, now works to start up an organization that focuses on rehabilitating former inmates so that they can contribute to society. Bryant also hopes that inmates who are still incarcerated will be able to contribute to society through scholarships such as the one given to Green.

Rehabilitation and reentry into society is especially important for Bryant, who notes “every year the state allocates around $15 billion to corrections, but they only spend around four percent on what they call rehabilitation.”

Bryant’s ultimate goal is to help transform both the system and people, explaining, “we invest in people, rather than punishment.”

Although not every inmate will be able to re-enter society, Bryant hopes that they can still make a difference through the scholarship program that is still starting up in the Soledad CTF. Bryant hopes that many more young students will be able to receive a scholarship in the future.

The process of raising the money for the scholarship took Bryant and the other inmates around three years to raise more than $30,000. Bryant said they would go around and ask inmates to donate, and once they agreed they would ask for a little bit more.

Bryant also adds the inmates were eager to give back because many of them wanted Green to have opportunities that they were not offered in life.

Through this fundraising, Green was able to finish high school and enroll in Academy of the Arts where President Elisa Stephen states “His future is limitless. It would not surprise me at all to see this exceptional young athlete-artist achieve his dreams of becoming a sports newscaster, or even playing for the Warriors someday.”

Nick is a second year at UC Davis double majoring in English and Asian American Studies, he is also from Diamond Bar, CA (LA County)

To sign up for our new newsletter – Everyday Injustice –

Support our work – to become a sustaining at $5 – $10- $25 per month hit the link:

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for