By Lt. Everardo Silva, AA/PIO

Calipatria State Prison

Photo's of CAL Adult Graduation 6-13-2014 008Calipatria State Prison (CAL) recognized 30 inmates who earned a GED, vocational certificate in Electronics or associate degree during a recent graduation.

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“They can no longer refer to you as a statistic of a failed system,” Warden (A) Warren L. Montgomery told the graduates. “This is an opportunity to continue to demonstrate to yourselves and those who otherwise had forgotten about you that the best you have to offer has yet to come.”

Wearing blue, black or burgundy caps and gowns, the graduates celebrated and shared refreshments with about 50 guests on hand to offer support and congratulations.

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The class valedictorian noted that the inmates have acquired the knowledge essential to find jobs upon release.

Photo's of CAL Adult Graduation 6-13-2014 018 “When I say ‘essential’ it is not just because of the academic advantage and doors to higher learning that a high school education opens,” said inmate Donnell Jeffers, “but also because reaching this milestone sets a standard in regards to showing how an individual manages potential, which in turn will establish the standard of life.”

Guest speaker Maria Nava-Froelich, mayor of Calipatria, encouraged the students to continue their educational pursuits upon their release.

Photo's of CAL Adult Graduation 6-13-2014 032They were also urged to continue their education by Manuel Altamirano, who has been the associate degree teacher at CAL.

“I feel you have accomplished a lot by receiving your GED, but this is not the end but the beginning,” he said. “You who have earned your GED, you need to start your associate degree, and you who have received your associate degree, you must start your bachelor’s degree, and then your master’s degree as this is only the beginning.”