“Well, I Made It Here.”

“Well, I Made It Here.”

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By Jerel Skeith


in News

Dear PiFO Supporter,

I have been sending essays to our supporters from the students at the Paid in Full Oregon/Corban extension in the Oregon State Correctional Institution (OSCI) in Salem. This is the seventh essay in a series of over 65 (!) that will be emailed to supporters of PiFO. All the previous ones had faith and spirituality as a component of the essay.

There is no faith requirement to apply to the Corban extension. One can have faith or no faith. We accept applications from atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Christians, Mormons, Buddhists, protestants, Catholics, Wicca and any other faith. The foregoing is not an inclusive list. 

The following essay is from someone who appears to have no faith (my presumption). My hope is that Jesus will catch Jesse James! Here is his essay:

“Dear PiFO supporters,

Well, I finally made it here. I got accepted into the Corban University program at OSCI. This being my twentieth year of incarceration, I felt that a change was needed and a new path could be followed, so I submitted myself for the consideration of this program. Now just starting out, I don’t have a definite answer or a complete understanding of how this program will influence my outlook going forward, but having a four-year degree of substance is an amazingly positive result that shows just because an adult is incarcerated not everything is about the prison violence and gang life.

Another positive outcome of attending school here in Salem is the proximity to a lot of family members. I have an elderly Grandmother who wasn’t able to travel across the state to Ontario, Oregon. My siblings, who are short on funds, now can make the shorter trip for visiting. Much better options offered here at OSCI, such as taking University of Oregon classes alongside focusing on the Corban University classes. I enjoy education. These alone are great reasons for me to take the chance to attend Corban University.

So, saying ‘thank you’ to the people who have taken the insanely generous steps to aid in funding the Paid in Full Oregon program, giving many adults in custody the opportunity to either find themselves through this program or able to fulfill their spiritual well-being with the knowledge acquired upon completion, is simply a no brainer. Thank you to all those people who have helped so many have the opportunity to better themselves in some way by attending Corban University while incarcerated.


Jesse James David

Please keep this student in your prayers because, one day, with your persistent prayers, Jesse will come to know Jesus!

Ever grateful,


Tom Kohl
Executive Director and Founder