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  • Vive Griffith

From Odyssey to a Cap and Gown

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

In the UW Odyssey Project in Madison, WI, co-director/founder Emily Auerbach and the entire team work to assure that the pathway from the Odyssey classroom to a college degree is as clear and smooth as possible for their students. This photo represents just some of the Odyssey alumni who earned two-year, four-year, and advanced degrees in 2020 despite the pandemic.

Dauntrea (on the left) first started thinking about college at age eight in Odyssey's childcare while her grandmother attended the program; in 2020, Dauntrea earned her UW bachelor’s degree and is applying for law school.

Next to her is Mustafa, who also earned his UW degree in 2020 and has just been accepted to a doctoral program at UW in Occupational Therapy. He escaped with his family from war-torn Iraq.

Both Marisela and Shaimaa (pictured with stethoscope) earned nursing degrees and are on the front lines now.

Tiffany, who raised four children and served in the military after completing Odyssey in its very first year, has completed her bachelor’s and been accepted into a master’s degree program in architecture.

These five faces represent just a small sampling of the 500 amazing graduates of this exemplary program, which is now in its 18th year and is inspired by Clemente and Berea College. “Odyssey helped me unwrap my gifts and rewrite the story of my life,” one student said.

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