Minds on Fire

The Alcalde, the alumni magazine of The University of Texas, just published a beautiful article about Free Minds that we think captures the spirit and purpose of the program: “Minds on Fire: What happens when disadvantaged adults learn to read Shakespeare and debate philosophy? How the Free Minds Project is changing lives through the humanities.” … Continue reading

Featured Writer: Fern Viking

Fern Viking, a 2011 Free Minds graduate, joined our fall writing workshop to continue honing her creative writing skills and to meet other developing writers. “As with my Free Minds experience,” she says, “I have felt a sense of community with my classmates, a meeting of like-minded individuals who are very different from each other … Continue reading

Meet Free Minds student Jennifer Reyes

At 24, Jennifer Reyes is one of the youngest Free Minds students, but when she came to interview for a spot in the program in July, she said she had already waited too long to start college. “The way my caseworker explained this program to me, it helps you get started, so you’re ready when … Continue reading

Guest Blogger Lisa Pous ’12: “I am not limiting myself any longer.”

I am a proud mother of three teenagers and a domestic violence survivor who is learning to thrive. I have no formal education past the eighth grade, having passed a GED exam before high school. With the help of local domestic violence resources I have been able to change my life around one tiny step … Continue reading

Guest Blogger Emily Whitehurst ’11: “I Will Not Stop Learning”

When I applied to the Free Minds Project, I thought my learning days were over. Yet through the curriculum and direction of the faculty, I discovered that a person is never too old to learn. This past year we read a vast number of literature, plays, poems, and memoirs that got me out of my … Continue reading

Ending the year on a note of Hope

Hope Johnson, Free Minds ’11, spoke on behalf of her class at graduation on May 23. We published excerpts in our May newsletter. Below is the full text of Hope’s speech. Hello faculty, supporters, family and friends of this year’s graduating class of Free Minds. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you … Continue reading

Guest Blogger Cheryl Turner Reflects on the Writing Workshop

I was diagnosed with Degenerative Joint Disease in November 2008, declared disabled and was no longer able to perform physical labor. I decided I needed to go back to school to update my education and job skills. When I first heard about Free Minds I was just finishing up a computer and job readiness certificate … Continue reading

Guest Blogger and Free Minds Student Rachel Martinez Discusses Lifelong Learning

I always wanted to go to college, I just thought that I wouldn’t be able to make the grade. I was absent from school a lot due to illness, and as life would have it, I stopped going to high school at the end of my junior year to establish my current occupation as a … Continue reading

Meet Free Minds Student Lorena Elias

Lorena Elias is a Community Worker with the Austin Health and Human Services Department. She learned about Free Minds from a flyer her 9-year-old son, Miguel, brought home from UT Elementary School. Of all the texts she’s read in class so far, her favorite is A Midsummer Night’s Dream–not surprising, as she loves theater and … Continue reading

Michelle Faires ’07 Reflects on Coming Together

This summer I had the opportunity to see the Beatles LOVE Cirque du Soleil show as well as Sir Paul McCartney himself in concert. For all you alumni out there who took last fall’s theater class, you’ll recall Vivé’s “goal index cards.” Experiencing the music of the Beatles performed live was one of my top … Continue reading