Dismas Charities Las Cruces Holds Completion Ceremony/Graduation


Socrates once said “the secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Change was the keyword spoken at the Las Cruces facility’s first-ever Program Completion Ceremony in early September. The idea of the observance came to life recently when staff brain-stormed ideas that would inspire and bring a feeling of accomplishment to residents who successfully complete the program. The concept begins as the resident first arrives at the center, according to Director Sam Campos. For example, during the orientation process, each resident is video taped and asked four questions: What are your expectations of the program? What do you hope to achieve during your time here? What is something you would like to tell your future self? and What is something you would like to tell your family and loved ones? The video, along with a time capsule containing their innermost feelings of themselves and their lives, is stored and revisited during the ceremony to demonstrate their growth and determine if their goals were met. “It really is amazing to see the transformation a resident can have, com-paring the initial arrival day to the final days they are here at the center,” said Assistant Director Irma Smith. “Some of the residents even look healthier and happier. It’s cool for them to re-watch their video and for their families to witness firsthand how their life can change in a few months.” The ceremony included Power of Praise Worship Church Pastor Phillip Juarez, a two-time former resident at the Las Cruces facility, who noted that “I wish they had this program back when I was at the center, and I am happy to be a part of it now to show you that if I can change, so can you.” The ceremony begins with each resident entering the room while graduation theme music is being played. Like any graduation ceremony, the residents wear gowns, provided by staff and members of the Community Relations Board. Certificates are presented and a dinner is served by A-Catered-Affair, which paid for haircuts for the male residents and makeovers for the female residents. “This is really awesome for us,” said graduating resident Taurus Wright. “Some of us have never had any type of graduation or even received a diploma, but this gives us something to look forward too. I know everyone else is talking about it and they are excited for when it’s their turn.” A Wall of Fame, in the Recreation Room, will contain pictures of the graduates as an inspiration to others. “Staff hopes this new event can assist residents with their transition by giving them a sense of accomplishment and, in turn, reduce the possibility of their returning,” said Campos. “This is an exciting time for our center and we hope that other Dismas facilities, if they are not already doing so, jump on board and create a similar program at their facility.” Pictured below are Wayland Leeth, Wright, Kathye Young, Candice Carpenter, Arthur Dutchover, and Nickolaus Gotlieb. Above Campos congratulates and presents Carpenter with her diploma. A second graduation was held October 3.


Like Us On Facebook!