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College Guide Packets

Deliver a packet with step-by-step instructions for applying to college to the mailbox of every teenager in juvenile detention centers


Connect students in juvenile detention centers to outside mentors that will guide them through the college application process

Application Fees

Provide application fees for students during their college application process

We will provide


Packets include college application guides, financial aide guides, resources for getting prison records expunged, and list of colleges with programs that accept formerly incarcerated youths


Step-by-step guidance to make the application process less intimidating

Study Materials

Donate SAT and ACT prep books to juvenile detention centers


Collaborate with existing mentorship programs to connect students to adults to receive proper guidance for the college application process


Raise money to pay for student’s application fees

Feedback channels

Include surveys with packets to allow students to provide comments and feedbacks, and make improvements accordingly

Timeline for our project

98% of colleges accept students with GEDs and many schools have programs that accept formerly incarceration applicants, but most youths in juvenile detention centers do not pursue higher education. Juvenile Education Project will provide the awareness, resources, encouragement and guidance for these youths to rightfully claim their place in colleges with the following timeline.
  • Research

    Conduct research and interviews in order to write a detailed step-by-step college guide packet

  • Distribute

    Print and mail college guide packets to the mailbox of every teenager in all juvenile detention centers

  • Implement

    Youths follow instructions along with mentors

  • Results

    Take entrance tests, finish applications, receive college application funds and apply to college

  • Replicate

    Receive feedback from students and modify project, then replicate the same model in different states

Purpose of our project

Juvenile Education Project would help youths in juvenile detention centers pursue higher education during and after their time in prison by providing the resources and guidance necessary to apply for college. The project aims to provide teenagers in prison college guide packets tailored towards students with GEDs, less money, and prison records– unlike current college guides that are written for high school students applying to selective universities. The college guide packets would include college application guides, financial aide guides, resources for getting prison records expunged, and list of colleges with programs to accept formerly incarcerated youths. The project also aims to help youths in juvenile hall seek outside mentors and provide necessary college application fees.
With tangible action items and a support system, youths in juvenile detention centers will change where their life trajectory when they reenter society. The mediocre education that is currently provided in prison is not enough to make these youths competitive in our society.
Yet, 98% of colleges accept students with GEDs, and many schools have programs to accept formerly incarceration applicants. There is no reason why every kid in jail would not be able to go to college. By putting resources into the hands of these teenagers, Juvenile Education Project would be a pioneer in attempting to youths in prison a quality education.
Our work targets the youth group most vulnerable to unemployment and poverty, and helps them obtain the proper education needed for career development. In turn, it will reduce prison reentry rate, recidivism, poverty, and inequality in this country.

Project pilot site

Juvenile Education Project will start in the juvenile detention centers in Northern California during June of 2018 and expanded to Southern California by the end of 2018. California has the highest percentage of teens incarcerated has the most crowded juvenile detention center. Overcrowding not only leads to food shortage and neglect, but often times also leads to death. California will therefore be the first target for reducing with recidivism. Then, the project will expand to different states following the same model for success.

Our funding

The NXT Group will be funding the marketing for Juvenile Education Project in order to advertise the project to larger donors.

Meet our Founder

During her work at an NGO that advocates for the rights of youths in prison, Catherine sat in during classes and read letters from inmates who were unsatisfied with the education system in prison. Since then, she has made it her mission to provide these students with the education they deserve. Yet, the education system was underfunded and too bureaucratic for reform, so Catherine founded the Juvenile Education Project in 2017 to help teenagers in juvenile detention centers go to college and receive the education they deserve.

Catherine Straus


Current UC Berkeley student who hopes to work on education policies targeting low-income, minority areas

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We have over 20 years of consultancy experience in this area of corporate business