Recent Press and Announcements

Monday, March 31, 2014

Maine State Prison Graduation Video

November 4, 2013
Click  Here to see a short video, just under 5 minutes, of the highlights of the Maine State Prison graduation.  Doris Buffett’s Sunshine Lady Foundation fully funds this college degree program.  Doris believes in the power of education to reduce or eliminate recidivism, and to open up new life choices to these graduates.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Agency to add transition home in Fredericksburg

AMY FLOWERS UMBLE, The Free Lance-Star Richmond Times-Dispatch

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) — The little boy tugged gently on Kathy Anderson’s sleeve. In the middle of a party, Anderson didn’t notice at first.

The 5-year-old tugged again, and Anderson leaned down to talk with him.

“This house is everything I ever wanted,” he said.

Anderson directs Empowerhouse, an agency that helps families fleeing abusive situations. And the boy’s simple statement validated months of work raising money and renovating the house that became the agency’s first transition home.

Read More

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Home Offers a Break for Parents

October 8th, 2013, 5:16 pm, BY AMY FLOWERS UMBLE / THE FREE LANCE–STAR

For parents of adult children with disabilities, weddings and vacations often require strategic planning similar to invading Normandy.

When your child is full-grown but requires ’round-the-clock care, you can’t just call the teenager down the street when you need to get away. And if taking a scheduled vacation is tricky, an emergency is formidable. Parents live in fear of a sudden illness, a surgery or a death in the family.

But a new respite home in Stafford County could ease some of that burden, providing parents with a place for their adult children to stay when caregivers need a break for any reason. Read More

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Honduras Dream Comes True

August 18th, 2013, 12:01 am, BY LINDLEY ESTES / THE FREE LANCE–STAR

In December 2004, Shin Fujiyama took his first trip to Honduras and announced that he would eventually open a girls home in the Central American country, no matter how long it took.

On Aug. 9, nearly a decade after the University of Mary Washington grad set that goal—founding Students Helping Honduras in the process—the Villa Soleada Girls Home opened its doors to 12 girls in need. Read More

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Former Cornell Prison Education Program student offers hope

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 12:00 am, Michael Harris, Ithaca Times

In 1995, the federal law — Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act — dismantled higher education in prison by eliminating inmate eligibility for Pell Grants.

On June 5, however, the Auburn Prison, in conjunction with Cornell University’s Prison Education Program, celebrated its first graduating class since 1995 with 15 inmates receiving associates degrees from the State University of New York.

Philanthropist Doris Buffet, founder of the Sunshine Lady Foundation, filled the monetary void left by the 1995 legislation, and she became the benefactor for these aspiring scholar inmates at Auburn prison. With her support, in 2008, CPEP was formally established, headed by Executive Director Jim Schechter and PEP’s faculty director, professor Robert Turgeon.

Read More