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Darnell Epps Visits RAS

Regional Alternative School (RAS) students heard Cornell University student Darnell Epps tell his story of overcoming adversity and how he went from prison to an Ivy League university.

Epps was raised in a housing project in Brooklyn and, after being involved in a crime, was incarcerated for nearly 17 years. A large portion of this time was spent at nearby Five Points Correctional Facility in Seneca County.

While there, Epps began taking part in classes through Hobart and William Smith Colleges as well as the Cornell Prison Education Program. He learned he had an interest in and a talent for legal research and legal writing and began working with a law library. Eventually, after being released from Five Points, Epps applied and was accepted to study at Cornell University. After completing his degree, he intends to go to law school.

This inspirational story shows that anyone can succeed over difficult circumstances and that no one has to be defined by their mistakes. Darnell Epps was able to see his own value and make the changes in his life that put him on the road he is on today.

After hearing Epps speak, RAS students had a chance to participate in a brief question and answer session with him. They asked about how he was able to take control of his life and find the success he has achieved despite the challenges he has faced.