Erin Boetzer paroles in time to celebrate accomplishment with family, educators
Story by Shane Reynolds, Incarcerated Students Program director, Lake Tahoe Community College
Photos by Katie Bailey
Lake Tahoe Community College (LTCC) Incarcerated Students Program (ISP) graduate Erin Boetzer recently got to celebrate two major academic achievements on campus, with her parents and LTCC family surrounding her. Boetzer was one of only seven students who earned their way onto the 2017 President’s honor roll, which requires a straight A, 4.0 GPA. That was no problem for Boetzer, who always took the max number of credits each quarter so she could graduate on time, and who earned nothing but straight As in that process – all while serving time in state prison.
Boetzer actually earned her degree last summer, but was unable to attend LTCC’s graduation ceremony while incarcerated. LTCC President Jeff DeFranco made up for that by officially presenting Boezter with her degree as her proud parents, Lisa and Ken, watched. LTCC staff, faculty and administrators who all helped to support and encourage Boetzer’s success were also there to share in her special day.
Boetzer was a member of the first group of students in ISP, and she was one of the first to graduate thanks to her determination and drive. Just four days after being released from prison last August, she went to Cabrillo College in Aptos and signed up to be a full-time student.
Boetzer wants to pursue a career in marketing and is working on a few classes in that subject in order to transfer to a four-year school for her bachelor’s degree. In addition to continuing with her academic studies, Boetzer is also continuing to train therapy dogs, a skill and passion she developed while incarcerated. She now trains other trainers, and also works with therapy dogs that will eventually assist people with various disabilities.
ISP serves people incarcerated in state prison in California in furthering their education.. Higher education provides inmates with a pathway to a more productive future and a greater likelihood of post-release employment. Incarcerated students can earn their Associate’s Degree for Transfer in Sociology facilitated through Lake Tahoe Community College. Most students are able to have their enrollment fees waived through the Board of Governors fee waiver.
LTCC offers ISP at Folsom Women’s Facility, Folsom State Prison general population and Minimum Support Facility, California State Prison-Sacramento, Growlersburg Conservation Camp and High Desert State Prison. Learn more at http://www.ltcc.edu/academics/specialized_programs/incarceratedstudentprogram.php.