Below is a list of self help, correspondence and educational courses Wilson has completed during his incarceration, including his Associates and Bachelor's Degree from Calvin University. While looking at Wilson's accomplishments, please know that he has never attended High School and only had a 7th grade education. Although Wilson has never been to High School, he earned his Bachelor's Degree and graduated with a 3.93 GPA. Please keep in mind, he has been able to accomplish everything despite his environment, obstacles he has faced over the years, and even throughout the Pandemic when he caught COVID-19 and could barely breathe or move without being in pain. Wilson Rivera is the TRUE definition of accomplishment!
Nearly 30 years, as a 19 year old, Wilson
entered prison with a 4th grade equivalence in math and a 6th grade equivalence
in vocabulary. Today (May 5th, 2023) Wilson accepted his Bachelor's Degree
from Calvin University by way of the Calvin Prison Initiative, with a GPA of
The Calvin Prison Initiative is a five year
program that provides a Christian Liberal Arts education to inmates at the
Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility. Part of Calvin University's objective
is to help change the prison culture to one that gives inmates, like Wilson, an
opportunity to develop their potentials through education and programs, then
send these students out to other facilities to help initiate and facilitate
such programs. Below you can read about some of Wilson's accomplishments.
Wilson's Graduation Speech!
Wilson graduated with Honors and Distinction. He was also hand selected to write and give a speech for the graduation ceremony. Please click the link below and listen as he addresses his fellow graduates, Calvin University professors, and MDOC Staff.
Calvin University Bachelor Degree Ceremony
Wilson receiving his Bachelor's degree from
Calvin University president, Wiebe Boer.
Senator Mark Huizenga presenting Wilson with a
letter of Legislative Honor "in recognition of outstanding
achievement" for successfully completing his course of study prescribed by
Calvin University English professor, David Urban, congratulates Wilson as he bestows upon him Calvin University's Collegiate Scholars Medallion, worn by students who have fulfilled the requirements to graduate with distinction. Requirements include community engagement activities and a cumulative GPA of 3.65 or higher.
The maroon and gold cord worn by Wilson are
bestowed upon students who have earned the Latin honors designation "magna
cum laude," having a minimum GPA 3.8. Wilson graduated with a GPA of 3.93.
CURRENTLY ENROLLED OR PARTICIPATING IN:
(For more than a year Wilson has volunteered at his current facility (MTU) as the Chaplain's Clerk while still attending Calvin University and completing his correspondence courses)
University (Correspondence course aiming towards a Master's Degree in Theology);
Foundation (Islamic correspondence course);
* CRIMINON: The Pursuit of Happiness (Correspondence Course - 2019);
* CRIMINON: Personal Integrity (Correspondence Course - Currently);
* The Moorish Islamic Theocratic Institute (Correspondence course - 2019)
IN FACILITY MENTORING/TUTORING:
* Batterer's Intervention (MiDVP: Mich. Domestic Violence Prevention);
* VERA Institute (President of Student Advisory Council formation team)
COMPLETED PROGRAMS/CORRESPONDENCE COURSES:
(Part of Wilson's responsibility as one of the few MDOC bilingual Legal Writers was to ensure that Spanish-only speaking inmates received a fair chance in their appeal process. Additionally, Wilson's clients ranged from inmates who were heavily medicated to others with severe learning disadvantages)
(Additionally, because Wilson is bilingual, he took the responsibility of translating all the core lessons into Spanish. He then instructed a class of 12 Spanish-only speaking inmates ensuring their success in obtaining their CMT certificate)