A Recruiter Offers the Humanities, and Second Chances

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David Zentz for The Chronicle

Kathryn Pope, director of Antioch U.’s humanities program for low-income adults, speaks with a potential student at a service center for the poor.

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David Zentz for The Chronicle

Kathryn Pope, director of Antioch U.’s humanities program for low-income adults, speaks with a potential student at a service center for the poor.

An unlikely audience has filled a dozen chairs. There's a 40-year-old man who spent most of his adult life in prison, a 29-year-old woman who recently gave up booze, a middle-aged guy who lost his job and everything else years ago when, he says, his mind just went "kablooey." For the next few minutes, they're all prospective college students.

Each of them is a regular here at the local office of Chrysalis, a nonprofit group that helps poor and homeless people find jobs. This morning