More than 100 students participates in graduations ceremonies recently at the California Men’s Colony’s Central Coast Adult School (CCAS), West Facility.
CCAS graduated 132 GED students, 26 Career Technical Education (CTE) students and one M.S degree, psychology student; and one A. A. Liberal Arts degree student.
This notable event was well attended by Education, Custody, and Administration staff. It is one of many marks of success of CDCR’s rehabilitation efforts.
Three GED students gave heartfelt speeches about their struggles, challenges and rewards of getting an education. They all encouraged their fellow graduates to continue their education and to be proud of their accomplishments.
One graduate in particular mentioned that he received his GED because he wanted to show his children how important an education is. Another got his GED because he wanted it displayed on his mother’s mantel along with his seven sibling’s accomplishments.
It was evident from listening to the speakers that getting an education is more than just receiving a piece of paper. It’s a life changing event.
Warden Elvin Valenzuela praised the graduates for accomplishing something positive in what can sometimes considered a negative atmosphere. He encouraged them to continue with their education.
He asked them for their help in spreading the word to their fellow inmates to get an education, to take advantage of all the programs offered at CMC, and to continue the good work.
The ceremony included a couple songs played the chapel band, Three Little Birds and Celebration, which added an air of enthusiasm and hopefulness to all those in attendance.
Cake and punch followed the ceremony; as well as many congratulatory remarks from the staff.