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Summer WIEA Update

As we move into summer, our next graduation ceremony is just weeks away. The Senior Class has completed their coursework, turned in their computers and is eagerly anticipating graduation and all that awaits afterwards. Recently, a couple seniors have shared that they didn’t realize the comradery that had developed between them these past four years, and how much they’ll miss being part of this program. Another senior shared how he realized that the reason God brought him to the program was to save him. He realized that the life trajectory he was on would likely have ended with his death in the streets. And now, he can’t wait to go home and work with others to help them turn their lives around.

Our Dean of Students, Robin Knoll, has recently started visiting graduates. He made his first visit to Redgranite Correctional Institution on April 29. Our graduate there has recently accepted the position of Chapel Clerk, working alongside the Chaplain. He said that he has been able to use his education by reorganizing the Chapel Library and counseling visiting inmates who come to the Chapel. He shared how he knows that he wouldn’t be able to do the work he is doing now if it weren’t for his time spent in the program at Waupun. Visits to New Lisbon Correctional Institution and Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution are scheduled for June, with visits to other institutions to follow. After a slow start due to COVID restrictions, we have been able to schedule visits without a problem now that our clearance has been issued.

A graduate from the 2021 Senior Class has been working as a Certified Tutor in the Education Department at Waupun. He stopped by Robin’s office recently and shared how he has been able to help students who are working on an Associate Degree from a local technical school. He said that because of his degree, he’s equipped to effectively help the students in a multitude of areas. He was excited to share his work with the students is almost a dream job for him.

In another exciting development, we’ve been given permission to develop a one-day forgiveness seminar for our students and the Certified Peer Specialists at Waupun. The topic of forgiveness has been raised a number of times the past five years (for others and self) and is a topic that could be shared with others in the prison (which is why the Certified Peer Specialists will be involved). Dr. Dan Green, a Milwaukee-based Christian Psychologist and Counselor, will be developing the class. The class will be offered in August this year during one of our breaks between terms.

Thank you, again, for your continued prayer, support and participation. We are reliant upon so many of you for the ever-important and exciting work God is doing at Waupun and beyond.

Thank you for your continued prayer, partnership and generosity. Specific prayer requests:

  • Pray that the individual visits with our graduates go well and are an encouragement to them.

  • Pray for our seniors as they approach graduation. May they feel a sense of accomplishment and that many of their loved ones will be able to make it to graduation.

  • Pray for God to go before us as we have conversations about a women's program

  • Pray for opportunities for WIEA to share with others about the transformation happening in the lives our program touches.

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