Think Tank established in Oregon

Announcing...(drum roll)... the foundation of a Think Tank at the Oregon State Penitentiary! Our first official meeting was held yesterday, February 20th. Lori Pompa, Inside-Out National Director joined us at OSP to begin community building and project planning for the group. So far, we plan to meet every other Sunday night, and will consist of approximately fifteen Inside alumni, plus the seven Oregon instructors, and several Outside alumni from the various participating schools. Melissa Crabbe, the Assistant National Director, will be our leader and facilitator for these meetings.
We already have an extremely dynamic and engaged group for this project. Most of the Inside alumni have been involved in at least two Inside-Out classes. Many are working on their Associates Degrees through Chemeketa Community College, and will be enrolling in Degrees of Freedom for the Bachelors Degrees when we get that established.
Outside students have to go through the institutional volunteer training in order to participate. Although six were in attendance on the 19th, only those with volunteer badges will be able to work with us in a consistent way, because Sundays there won't be escorts available for visitors. But we hope to soon have alumni from OSU, Chemeketa, and UO participating.
Although we hope to put together a uniquely Oregon Think Tank, with its own projects and identity, we are taking our inspiration and leadership from the Think Tank at Graterford. We hope to hold an Inside-Out Instructor Training in December of 2011, with Lori Pompa's help and guidance.
With all that's happening nationally, and the Oregon local projects, it is essential to create a group of inside directors of Inside-Out in Oregon. I can't wait to see where this will go, and what will happen next! 
If you are in Oregon and interested in learning more, please contact us at