Syrita Steib-Martin: From Prison to Creating Policies That Make It Easier For Formerly Incarcerated Individuals To Obtain Higher Education
Date:  11-30-2017

Steib-Martin was instrumental in helping Louisiana to become the first state to "ban the box" on college applications
From the ABA Journal:

When Syrita Steib-Martin was released from prison, she knew she wanted to go back to school.

The daughter of a workers’ compensation judge, Steib-Martin grew up expecting to get an education. But she was a wild teenager who, at 19, helped rob a car dealership and set it on fire. She paid for those actions with 10 years of her life.

In prison, Steib-Martin started taking community college classes, earning a 3.8 grade-point average. But the application to the University of New Orleans asked whether she’d ever been convicted of a crime. She told the truth, and the university rejected her.

Two years later, Steib-Martin was married, pregnant and ready for a career that could help provide for her son, who turned 6 in September. So she reapplied—and this time, she didn’t disclose her conviction. She was admitted with a scholarship and eventually earned a degree in clinical laboratory science. “The only thing I changed was that I unchecked the box,” she says. Continue reading >>>