In 2013 formerly incarcerated and system impacted UC Berkeley students came together to form Underground Scholars - a transformative program that supports incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students with recruitment, retention, advocacy, wellness, and career services.
In 2023 - we're celebrating our expansion to 9 UC campuses, serving hundreds of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students each year, hundreds of alumni - many advancing to graduate programs and many working in re-entry, higher education, policy, law, nonprofits, and other professions.
The Next 10 Years...
Announcing the launch of Underground Scholars Inc., a new umbrella organization that will
Increase our capacity to work with incarcerated youth & adults,
Lead recruitment efforts across the state,
Expand our advocacy work and policy institute
Increase our wellness offerings
Expand our program model nationwide
Work with campus based Underground Scholars programs to support student retention
Level 1 | $2,500
table for 10 + listed as founding ally on website
Level 2 | $5,000
table for 10 + listed as founding ally on website + USI Swag Bags
Level 3 | $10,000
2 tables for 10 + listed as founding ally on website + USI Swag Bags + shout out during program
Level 4 | $25,000
3tables for 10 + listed as founding ally on website + USI Swag Bags + shout out during program
in Jails, Prisons, Youth Facilities, & Community Colleges
Our new program structure will shift our Recruitment, Advocacy, Wellness, and Career Services to the non-profit, allowing the UC based UndergroundScholars Chapters to focus on retention support for UC students
Founding Board of Directors
Aaron Harvey, BACollege Coach, Beyond 12
Alberto "Beto" Vasquez, PhDDirector of CSSI Outreach and Community Engagement, UC San Diego