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‘Exercise in Empathy’ leads to connection between Palma student, former CTF inmate

Syon Green Graduation (photo courtesy of Syon Green)
Syon Green
Green at his graduation ceremony with Bryant beside him

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) A former Correctional Training Facility inmate got a chance to reconnect with someone he bonded with through a program coordinated by Palma High School.

The unlikely partnership has kept Jason Bryant and Academy of Art University freshman Syon Green in close contact.

Green is a graduate of Palma High School, and during his time there, he connected with Bryant through the school's Exercises in Empathy program.

In fact, Green was able to continue studying at Palma with help from an inmate-led scholarship program called the Phoenix Alliance Group.

"I learned a lot from the guys involved," Green said. "One of the guys instrumental in that with all the knowledge and scholarship and wisdom is Jason Bryant."

According to Bryant, it was not just Green who benefited from the program.

"The transformations that occurred for those of us who for so many years felt hopeless in so many ways because of the mistakes we made when we were younger, it was definitely an inspiration," Bryant said

Green is studying communications and media technologies at the Academy of Art University while playing basketball.

Bryant was recently pardoned by Gov. Gavin Newsom. In the document signed by Newsom, the state said Bryant dedicated himself to rehabilitation while he was an inmate in Soledad. During his time in prison, he earned a Master's degree, two Bachelor degrees, an associate degree, a paralegal certificate and became a certified alcohol and drug counselor.

Education / Monterey County / Salinas / Top Stories

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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Victor Guzman

Victor Guzman is the managing editor at KION News Channel 5/46.


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