Lexington, Virginia – Students at the University of Washington and Lee have launched a new program to help people on low incomes or former inmates regain their driver’s licenses.
The Blue Ridge Mile the project can be a catalyst for state-wide expansion in all colleges.
If you need to pick up groceries or go to work, your driver’s license is required. But if the judge orders your license revoked, the return process can take several months.
“Last week I had one client who was 70 months old,” said the company’s president and CEO. Go to workSarah Wilson.
Wilson said unlicensed low-income people and former prisoners now have another barrier to overcome.
“In particular, there is a problem in rural areas,” she said. “There is no public transport. Many of these jobs work at night and you can’t get there. ”
Students from the University of Washington and Lee enter here.
First, students receive client referrals from a judge in Buena Vista. They then work one-on-one with the client to interpret complex documentation to guide them on the right path.
“We’re really there to help lubricate the wheels and help them take the next step,” said Fran Elrad of Shepherd Program.
“We tried to gather data and learn about the big hurdles that exist throughout the system and how we can impact change,” said junior student Finn Connor.
In three weeks, the Blue Ridge Mile project has gained seven clients. This gives students such as Gabe Miller, a freshman, the opportunity to study right in the courtroom.
“It gives us a much better idea of what’s going on in their case, and we can work with them better,” Miller said.
Wilson hopes the pilot program will extend to other colleges and offer resources in areas that are underserved, such as Southwest and South Virginia.
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