Chuckawalla Valley State Prison (CVSP) held a commencement ceremony to commemorate the graduation of over 45 inmates who earned Career Technical Education (CTE) distinctions on Nov. 7.

The CVSP CTE Class of 2019 were presented certificates at the special event in front of attending family, as well as prison staff and leadership.

"'Congratulations!' to each and every student for your conscientious effort and relentless determination in pursuit of your educational goals. May you continue striving to reach even greater heights in your future, not only in the classroom, but also in life while inspiring those around you," stated CVSP leadership's message to the graduates.

With CVSP Associate Warden D. Barnett opening the ceremony, the morning's Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem were led by CTE's carpentry instructor D. Sheridan.

A video presentation of the class' curriculum provided highlights of the respective programs – including auto body, computer-related technology, building maintenance, masonry, electrical works, carpentry, HVAC, and plumbing.

"With our value increasing, our dependency decreases," noted graduate Jon Andre Felix during the presentation.

Additionally, the morning's music was provided by Kreation – a CVSP inmates band including Jerry Armstrong (bass), Mitchell Pyles (key boardist/vocalist), and Marco Antonio Mora (guitar/vocals) – before, during and after the ceremony.

Special honors were also recognized for two soon-retiring CVSP CTE program staff members – Computer-Related Technologies Instructor (and keynote speaker) K. Williams-Crowe, and Principal/Supervisor of Correctional Education Program's (SCEP) T. Redway. Both were presented with plaques manufactured by the inmates as a token of appreciation for their dedication and commitment to education within the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) system.

"Many thanks to all the CVSP staff for going the extra mile in support and encouragement of our graduates. Your dedication has made today's accomplishments and ceremony possible," stated CVSP.

(Photos by Uriel Avendano/Palo Verde Valley Times)

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