Creating a Better Future
John Jay prides itself on providing a pathway for students to pursue advanced study, find meaningful careers, and achieve social mobility through education. This pathway is critical for the continued strength of our communities, our country, and our world. In this issue of Justice Matters we’re celebrating the life-changing impact education can have on students, and applauding those who are instrumental in making that change a reality.
In “Educating at Otisville” we get to see the transformative power of education through our Prison-to-College Pipeline Program (P2CP) at Otisville Correctional Facility. Established and facilitated by our Prisoner Reentry Institute, the P2CP reaches criminal justice-involved individuals where they are, and gives them an opportunity to set their lives on a different course. The P2CP exemplifies how educational opportunities have the power to change lives.
As professor Isabel Martinez says in “A Warm Welcome”, 33 percent of the John Jay student population are immigrants. It’s our responsibility as an institution to ensure that these students receive all the resources they need to complete their degrees. That’s why opening the new Immigrant Student Success Center—the first of its kind in the CUNY system—was so important to me and our community. As the students and alumni demonstrate in this article, the Center helps support our vital immigrant population, allowing them to pursue their dreams, and ultimately, uplift their families and communities.
When it comes to changing communities through education, one of the best examples I can think of is how our NYPD alumni use their justice-focused education to inform how they think about policing. As seen in “Precision In Practice”, the indispensable data from our research centers is assisting the NYPD with their efforts to decrease crime in New York City. Disrupting cycles of crime, reducing incarceration, and creating community partnerships makes New York City a safer place for everyone to grow and thrive.
An integral part of building a better future depends on analyzing data and expanding our collective knowledge base. That’s why research at John Jay is a key part of our core mission to educate for justice. To help foster research between our faculty and students, we recently created the John Jay Presidential Student-Faculty Research Collaboration Award project. You can learn more about the work our inaugural awardees are conducting in “Learning Through Research”. I believe in being a life-long learner, and having the honor of being President of John Jay College, I find myself learning something new every day from our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. It’s a sentiment I share with our new Provost, Yi Li. That’s why I sat down with Provost Li and talked about what we’ve learned, what we hope to accomplish, and our shared commitment to student success in “Leading The Way”.
The late Malcolm X once said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” At John Jay, we’re in the business of putting an “educational passport” within reach of every student enrolled in our institution. Our students are tomorrow’s thought leaders, and with our community’s support, they’ll continue to succeed.
Karol V. Mason