Was I Worthy Enough?

Christmas Wreath

Was I Worthy Enough?

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By Jerel Skeith


in News

Dear PiFO Supporter,

This time of year, as we remember what God has done for us, whether it be an undeserved blessing, or a blessing disguised as a challenge, and as we contemplate how we are going to bless others through our year-end gifts, let’s keep in mind the last, the least, and the lost. 

Who are “the last, the least and the lost?” Certainly, the souls who are locked behind bars in our prisons can fall into this group. Most are there because of choices they made and are now being held accountable. They are paying their debt to society. 

The writer of Hebrews specifically draws our attention to this group of people. “Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters…Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself.” Hebrews 13:3.

And in another part of the Bible, Jesus tells us that when we visit those in prison, we do it for Him. Matthew 25:36,40.

Corban University, supported by Paid in Full Oregon, has chosen to visit those in prison at OSCI, by providing instruction from live professors leading to a fully accredited four-year college degree. Upon graduation, these students will be sent out to other prisons in Oregon to serve as mentors, counselors, and tutors. They will change the culture of the prison system from the inside out.

In January, our fourth cohort will begin classes. We will have a total of 95 students at OSCI; freshmen through seniors. Our first graduation will be at the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024.

As you know, I have been sharing letters of appreciation from our students in OSCI. Here is another one from Marcus Samuel Steel:

The opportunity to receive an education from Corban University has been a once-in-a-lifetime, life changing experience. When I received the letter that I’d been accepted into the Corban University Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts Degree program, I was initially excited but intimidated at the same time because I didn’t know if I was worthy enough to receive the opportunity. 

Paid in Full Oregon, along with the professors and staff of Corban University have shown me the grace and caring which has been a huge contributor to my ability to become comfortable with, and flourish in, this program. I’ve not only become a better student, but I’ve also become a better person on a mental, emotional, and spiritual level. I will continue to give my all to this program, including paying it forward through my peer mentoring and counseling throughout the ODOC system after my graduation. Additionally, I plan to utilize my degree to become a drug and alcohol addiction counselor after my release.

This opportunity wouldn’t be possible without having people who have chosen to place their belief in others who have made some monumental life mistakes. I’m thankful to be included as one of the individuals whom you have chosen to believe in through your donations. Judge Tom Kohl, while visiting OSCI recently to check in on our progress, told us several stories of all the donations being given to Paid in Full Oregon from the heart; donations are coming in from anywhere including from large organizations to young children! Your giving hearts have genuinely touched my heart. 

Thank you, JESUS! Thank you to all of you as donors, supporters, and kind human beings. Thank you to Paid in Full Oregon. You are all having a hand in profoundly impacting the lives of many people for the better for many lifetimes to come.

Please pray about how you can bless our students with your year-end gift. 

Ever grateful,


Tom Kohl
Executive Director and Founder

PS…below is the Spring Schedule of classes for all of our cohorts: