MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- An educational partnership with MATC and Creative Corrections Education Foundation helps children avoid the pitfalls of their parents. It's a nationwide effort trying to better the lives of youth right here in Milwaukee.
While their parents are locked up behind bars, Percy Pitzer aims to free the minds of the children.
"It's a chance for them to do something for themselves and stay out of the prison system," said Pitzer.
The retired warden wants the next generation to succeed, so he developed the non-profit organization, Creative Corrections Education Foundation.
"A foundation designed to give scholarships to children of incarcerated parents or who are on parole," said Pitzer.
The group partnered with Milwaukee Area Technical College to help these kids beat the odds. Pitzer says the statistics are not in their favor.
"50% of the kids in Juvenile Detention have a parent incarcerated. So many of them are following in their parents footsteps, I think one of the reasons with this is they don't see a vision," said Pitzer.
Christine McGee, the executive director of the MATC Foundation is hoping the combined effort can help break the cycle. CCEF is offering the students $1,000 dollar scholarships.
"It's very important these students have an option or an alternative to what they may be facing," said McGee.
"Seeking 15 students who are graduating next week who plan to continue their education at UWM in the fall and who also have a parent who is incarcerated," said McGee.
In addition to that, a pilot program is also in the works.
"Developing a program that will help the children of parents who are incarcerated particularly those who have dropped out of high school and are interested in coming back to MATC to get an adult high school diploma or GED," said Pitzer.
McGee says the goal of the foundation is to get these kids in school, whether it's college or vocational training, and get them a trade.
Pitzar says so far the partnerships have provided scholarships to students in 26 states. This program relies heavily on community support and the scholarships are available mainly because of donations.
CLICK HERE on how to donate or get information about scholarships from CCEF.
CLICK HERE for contact information for MATC.