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January 5, 2024 0

In the hallowed halls of academia, where dreams of a brighter future are nurtured, a silent struggle often unfolds for students with incarcerated parents. Recent research has unveiled a disheartening truth—these students face an uphill battle, combating the stigma associated with parental incarceration that hampers their ability to seek support. The impact is profound, particularly for Black teens, whose academic aspirations are curtailed by the lingering stigma. As we explore the implications of having an incarcerated parent on college completion rates, the journey leads us to a beacon of hope: Out Of The Ashes, LLC.

The Staggering Statistics:

The statistics paint a stark picture. For Black teens, the stigma of incarceration further limits their academic horizons, even after accounting for other negative impacts. According to a 2010 Pew report, only 15 percent of children with an incarcerated father, and a mere 2 percent with an incarcerated mother, manage to graduate from college, in stark contrast to the 40 percent graduation rate for children without an incarcerated parent.

The Invisible Struggle:

Identifying these students within educational institutions proves to be a formidable challenge. Conversations about parental incarceration remain taboo, both in K-12 and college settings, leaving students without a safe space to discuss the profound social and emotional effects of having an incarcerated parent. The silence surrounding this issue exacerbates the difficulties faced by these students, hindering their educational journey.

Out Of The Ashes: A Beacon of Support:

Amidst the shadows cast by parental incarceration, Out Of The Ashes, LLC, emerges as a guiding light. Founded by Coley and Ahmarr, a father-son duo who weathered the storm of separation, Out Of The Ashes offers a drama therapy-inspired program titled “Out of the Ashes: Where A Seed Finds Life.” Rooted in their personal experiences, this presentation aims to address the impact of parental incarceration on children and families.

Unpacking Trauma, Fostering Understanding:

Out Of The Ashes’ 32-minute program provides a profound exploration into the experience of incarceration and its impact on the parent-child relationship. Tailored for students, faculty, and families, the presentation allows the audience to witness firsthand the effects of incarceration and engages them in a robust question-and-answer session and workshop. By creating a safe space to unpack the trauma associated with parental incarceration, Out Of The Ashes facilitates a deeper understanding that extends beyond the confines of statistics.

As we strive to create an educational environment that uplifts every student, it is imperative to acknowledge and address the invisible struggles faced by those with incarcerated parents. Out Of The Ashes, with its transformative program, offers a vital resource in fostering understanding, support, and resilience. How can we, as educators and institutions, work collaboratively to ensure that no student’s potential goes unrecognized and unrealized?