California Model, Rehabilitation

VSP celebrates graduation for 140 students

group of men stand in front of sign
VSP honor graduates stand in front of Valley State Adult School phoenix.

Over 140 students crossed the stage during the recent Valley State Prison (VSP) education graduation. The event was the first graduation ceremony held at the prison since the pandemic. VSP’s media center live-streamed the event so friends and family could view from home.

After congratulating the graduates, Warden (A) Matt McVay extended his gratitude to the dedicated staff, supportive families, and distinguished dignitaries who took time to be present.

McVay emphasized the significance of education as he recognized the graduates’ determination, resilience, and commitment to their educational journeys.

“This graduation serves as a testament to the transformative power of education, demonstrating that with the right support and opportunities, individuals can overcome barriers and achieve remarkable success,” said McVay.

The ceremony celebrated:

  • 62 college students earned a total of 102 associate degrees
  • 60 graduates earned their high school diplomas
  • 19 graduates attained Career Technical Education (CTE) certifications.

A highlight of the graduation was the acknowledgement of those students who received their associate of arts degrees from Merced College. This partnership between VSP and Merced College has provided valuable educational opportunities for incarcerated individuals.

The graduation celebrated over 140 students who demonstrated dedication to education and unwavering pursuit of a better future.

Story by Lt. H. Gastelum, AA/PIO
Valley State Prison 

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