Mary Ann Esmieu, CEC executive director, right, was on hand for Cain Vincent Dryer, a former bank robber who has turned his life around and is now a motivational speaker.

Mary Ann Esmieu, CEC executive director, right, was on hand to hear Cain Vincent Dryer, a former bank robber who has turned his life around and is now a motivational speaker.

By Division of Adult Parole Operations, Southern Region

Community Education Centers-Long Beach Re-Entry (CEC) recently celebrated the graduation of nearly two dozen former offenders from the program.

Santiago Flores, Parole Agent II Specialist, speaks at the CEC graduation.

Santiago Flores, Parole Agent II Specialist, speaks at the CEC graduation.

In total, 22 graduates donned caps and gowns to celebrate in the presence of their families, Community Education Centers staff, Parole Agent II Specialist Santiago Flores and representatives from CDCR. Special Guests included Jason Johnson, Parole Agent III; John Chavez, Parole Service Associate; and Cain Vincent Dryer, a decorated U.S. Marine who was convicted of bank robbery and served several years in prison. Dryer has since become a motivational speaker after he turned his life around.

All graduates received CEC engraved graduation rings and the ceremony was followed by a buffet and sober dance.

Mary Ann Esmieu serves as CEC’s executive director.

CEC-Long Beach currently has a success rate of 80 percent and those selected for graduation have remained clean and sober, discharged parole, reunited with their families and, in a few instances, started businesses of their own, according to the organization.