May 10, 2013
Inmates at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women held a graduation ceremony on Friday.
The ceremony marks the first group of women to earn their associates degrees from Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC).
Allison Kroboth is one of nineteen women graduating from PVCC with an associate’s degree. She earned her degree while serving time at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women.
"I'm just so excited. It’s overwhelming. I've been working and fighting for an opportunity like this for a long time. I came to Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women with an eighth grade education. I've gone so much further. I had one GED teacher put the idea in my head that I might be able to do this and now I've done it."
This year marks the first graduating class from PVCC. All the costs are funded by the Sunshine Ladies Foundation, an organization run by the sister of business tycoon Warren Buffet.
"I think of it in terms of an investment. An investment that changes people’s lives and gives them an opportunity and they are certainly taking their chances here and running with the ball."
The goal is to reduce recidivism rates of inmates once they are released from prison. For women like Kroboth, this degree is just the first step.
"I'm working on finding funding so I can go on and get a Bachelor's Degree. I would like to pursue a degree in business administration but currently our scholarship stops right now."
Friday's ceremony also honored graduates of a Darden program at the prison. Fourteen women received a business entrepreneurship certificate from the business school.