While the Free to Succeed program is about empowering inmates by strengthening proficiency in reading and writing skills, I’ve noticed that another benefit is inevitable–the satisfaction that comes from connecting authentically with another human being regardless of what appears to be wide differences in terms of backgrounds and life experiences. ┬áThose differences become inconsequential when two semi strangers sit down to tackle a homework assignment and end up laughing about life, philosophy, and whatever else naturally develops.. And the homework assignment still gets done! To me, the true value of this work is the relationships and interactions that occur when life situations become less important than authenticity.