Three facilities mark achievements with two graduations
The Correctional Training Facility (CTF) celebrated 74 rehabilitation graduates in two separate ceremonies in October. They donned caps and gowns to receive GED and high school diplomas, associate and bachelor degrees, certificates in the Peer Literacy Mentor Program and vocational programs.
The graduations, held Oct. 12 and Oct. 19, were marked by inspiring words from guest speakers.
Among the speakers were:
- acting Warden E. Borla
- Captain S. Tumacder
- Principal T. Chulyak
- Paula Germain, College Coordinator
- and Mostafa Ghous, dean of Hartnell College.
Also, James Willock, a formerly incarcerated member affiliated with Creating Restorative Opportunities and Programs (CROP), shared his story.
Power of education
The guests spoke about the transformative power of education and mentorship inside correctional institutions.
“The journeys we celebrate today are proof that determination and opportunity can pave the way for profound personal growth,” said Principal Chulyak.
Acting Warden Borla said the certificates and diplomas represent more than a single goal.
“These accomplishments signify more than just academic success. They represent a commitment to positive change and a brighter future,” Borla said.
After speaking at the graduation, he asked the graduates to take an oath and repeat the words “I will achieve again.”
Multiple graduates also spoke during the ceremonies.
On Facility C, Gayton and Martinez represented the GED graduates, Rasgado gave voice to the Cyber High program, while Jackson and Valedictorian Rivera spoke on behalf of the college graduates.
On Facility A/B, Vargas spoke on behalf of the college graduates and Keith spoke on behalf of the vocational programs.
“Education made me be accountable to myself,” said Vargas.
The graduations also included families and friends who were able to get photos with their graduate. After the ceremonies, there was a graduation banquet.
Graduates: Path of rehabilitation at CTF
CDCR partners with California’s public higher education system to offer associate, bachelor and master degrees through California community colleges, California State University, and the University of California systems.
About 13.5% of the entire incarcerated population are enrolled in college courses. Studies show that incarcerated individuals who participate in correctional education are 48% less likely to return to prison within three years compared to those who didn’t take advantage of these opportunities.
By Lt. Wil Landrum, AA/PIO
Correctional Training Facility