A transformative encounter

Erich Kussman dropped out of school when he was 14. Not knowing his father and with a mother addicted to drugs, he spent most of his childhood on the street, armed, selling drugs, and trying to survive. His teenage years were marked by frequent arrests and brief periods of freedom. In 2004, Kussman was involved in a robbery and sentenced to 12 years at the Albert C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facility, a prision in New Jersey (United States). Today, at 37, Kussman is married, a stepfather of two and a master’s student at Princeton Theological Seminary. His path from the world of crime to the university started behind bars, with the help of local college students, most of whom grew up with more opportunities than he had.