Odyssey Junior Project

The award-winning UW–Madison Odyssey Project takes a whole family approach to breaking the cycle of generational poverty through access to education, giving adult and youth learners a voice, and increasing confidence through reading, writing, and speaking.

Now in its seventeenth year, this inspirational project has empowered more than 400 low-income adults to find their voices and get a jump start at earning college degrees they never thought possible. Some graduates of the program have journeyed from homelessness to UW–Madison degrees, or from incarceration to meaningful work in the community.

In this six-credit English literature course, UW–Madison faculty members introduce adults to great works of literature, philosophy, history, and art and help them improve skills in writing and critical thinking.  In class, students read, write about, and engage in lively discussions of Emily Dickinson, Martin Luther King, Walt Whitman, Shakespeare, Lorraine Hansberry and more.


Odyssey Junior engages children through self-discovery and expression as part of a two-generation approach to combating generational poverty through education.