Sean Pica on Earning His Degree in Prison

June 1, 2012

Sean Pica is the executive director of Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison, a degree granting program out of Sing-Sing Prison in New York State.  It's full-circle for Pica who was convicted and served time for a crime he committed as a teenager.  His story, and the story of other students in prison is the subject of the documentary "Zero Percent."



Thank you for sharing this powerful story. I love Sean's tender heart and the positive results as he serves through Hudson Link to give others a second chance. This is reflective of Our Father's Heart.


I know I have known in my own life and mind that access to education is a key to learning how to live instead of just survive, to give a person some hope in a hopeless mess.

Thank you so much for sharing your story and all of the great work you and your colleagues are doing. I really hope that this will become the standard practice for all people who are incarcerated in the (near!) future.

A truly inspiring story. I've heard it before but this is the first time I've heard it from Sean himself. As an individual who recently got out of prison and is currently receiving services through Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison, I can personally attest to the dedication and stalwart support that Sean and his staff at Hudson Link provide to the people they work with. It is not easy coming home and starting all over again, especially if you have been away for a long time. Hudson Link provides the added support that could mean the difference between living a productive and happy life or returning to prison. As "Zero Percent" boasts, no one who has received an education through Hudson Link has returned to prison. Given the current recidivism rates, that is a pretty impressive statistic. Perhaps a follow-up interview could be had with some of Hudson Link's service recipients to show how they are doing and how they are making a difference in their community. I would be interested to hear more than just Sean's pesonal story. The vision of Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison is bigger than Sean Pica (although figuratively, he is a pretty tremendous guy in my book).

Hello Sean and all of the wonderful people at Hudson Link,
I just wanted to take a moment and salute you!! Your interview on Public Radio was not only very powerful, it was saturated with inspiration for us all! Too often we, "Joe and Jane Public" are "guided” to focus on the federal and state prisoner statistical recidivism rate. However, the work that you and so many other dedicated souls perform day in and day out deserves highlighting as well!
Oftentimes it’s easy to forget the overall benefit and impact that efforts such as yours have on society at large. Moreover, I truly believe that, the breadth and depth of what emerges from programs such as yours ensures that present and future generations are impacted in ways that are beyond measure!
Keep up the great work!


Dr. Charles Richburg
“A Friend of Hudson Link.”
October 7, 2013

Sean, you don't know me but I am the widow of Stan Anderson who, I believe, was your Social Studies teacher in Selden Jr HS . I just wanted to tell you that Stan never lost faith in you and how proud I am of you and all you've accomplished.

sean, great interview. i grew up on long island and remember your name from the cheryl pierson story. i don't know what came into my head today to look up your name so i googled it and read your interview. i'm going to be 52 years old in march. i remember this story in northport i believe like it was yesterday reading newsday. good for you, you are doing great and you have a whole life ahead of you. keep it up!

Hi Sean I vividly remember this situation. How wonderful that you took such a horrible horrible thing and turned it into such a wonderful thing. I was a young teenager at Newfield high school when that happened and I was livid when you went to jail and Cheryl went free. At the time I was mad because in my mind , had she not asked you, you would not of done it! But as time has given me experience I think in someway that she probably saved your life along with her sisters! I don't know what caused me to Google your name but I'm going to watch the movie on Sunday. I don't know if you remember me but you come to mind often! God bless you Sean and all you do!

No one should go to prison for killing a scumbag. That chicks boyfriend is a loser. Why didn't he kill her dad, instead of suckering you into doing it? I'm curious as to if that chick put any money on your books while you were in prison. She owes you a debt of gratitude.

Sean, I read Cheryl's story on yahoo last night, and I cried. All I wanted to know was what happened to the young man who was a hero even as a 16 year old teenager. I wanted to make sure you were out of prison and living well because you are NOT a criminal. I wish you were never sent to prison as you saved that woman's life and rid the world of a monster. I was delighted to find you and find out that you're still living the life of a hero. I wish you many many blessings in life. be well and be deserve the best life has to offer.