Kern Valley State Prison holds first graduation ceremony

The first graduation ceremony for Kern Valley State Prison honored 121 who sought to turn their lives around through education.

The first graduation ceremony for Kern Valley State Prison honored 121 who sought to turn their lives around through education.

By Marshall Denning, A.A., Public Information Officer, Kern Valley State Prison

Kern Valley State Prison inmates donned various colored caps and gowns to mark the prison’s first graduation.

The first commencement ceremony in August honored 121 graduates before a welcome assembly of family, friends, custody staff and prison educators.

The graduation ceremonies all started with the pledge of allegiance led by the Academic Vice Principal Randy Clem and the National Anthem sung by Krystal Mascarinas.

“Rehabilitation through Education” was the adopted theme with a quote by Arie Pencovici documented on the Program Brochures which read, “Graduation is only a concept. In real life, every day you graduate. Graduation is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. If you can grasp that, you’ll make a difference.”

Principal Stacey Hoffman was one of the keynote speakers. He encouraged the graduates not to think of a GED as a second class accomplishment.

He said many people, some of them famous, have received their GEDs such as actor/comedian Bill Cosby, actor Nicholas Cage, boxer Oscar De La Hoya, Wendy’s restaurant founder Dave Thomas and the Rapper 50 cent, who even got his GED while in jail.

One of the graduates received an Associate of Arts Degree, 12 graduated from the Office Services program, 14 graduated from the automotive program and 90 graduates earned their GED.

Many staff and students were given the opportunity to speak to encourage a positive rehabilitative attitude through the various academic and career technical educational opportunities present within the institutions of the CDCR.

091614 KVSP first graduation 2

Staff and students addressed the graduates.



6 Responses

  1. Linda Hagen Monday, September 22, 2014 / 8:57 pm

    Congratulations! VSP wants to know how you got the caps and gowns?

  2. Beatriz Rodriguez Friday, September 19, 2014 / 10:21 pm

    Great job guys.

  3. Helen Friday, September 19, 2014 / 12:53 am

    So good to hear something positive from a prison for a change. It took a team effort to get these men through what is sure to be a memorable moment. Hurray for the inmates, their educators and all their supporters!

  4. Gay Garcia Thursday, September 18, 2014 / 12:13 am

    Way to go guys! A diploma means a lot when you’re looking for a job. I knew you could do it.

  5. Mc Padilla Wednesday, September 17, 2014 / 5:05 pm

    How very awesome!

  6. Matthew Koop Tuesday, September 16, 2014 / 7:40 pm

    It’s always nice to hear some good news about CDCR. Great Job Hoffman and company!

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