Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4061 - Brittany Davis-Green - firstname.lastname@example.org
Proud parents pose for a photo with CCC Tony Gobar staff following a graduation ceremony Thursday.
CLARKSDALE – A group of Quitman County teens are back on a path to success after completing a community-based program housed at Coahoma Community College.
CCC staff joined family, friends and community members Thursday at the Marks, MS Justice Center to congratulate five graduates that completed the Tony Gobar program.
Funded by the Mississippi Department of Human Services, the one-year program works with adolescents, and their families, in the Quitman County area at risk of entering the juvenile justice system helping them to master skills necessary to live successfully and work in the community through a wide range of therapeutic activities.
During the event, themed, “Stand Tall, Look Forward, and Never Turn Back”, Calvin McDonald, program case manager, opened by giving an demonstration of how the unique program works to keep the students from falling back into the trouble.
To illustrate his point, graduates were asked to come up and hold hands. The other students were asked to stand with the students to demonstrate the other entities provided for students completing the program.
Rico Smith, case manager, then introduced the event’ speaker—Leon Williams of Lambert, MS.
Williams is a veteran and law enforcement officer with extensive experience with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and the U.S. Marshalls Task Force. He has previously worked with the Quitman County Sheriff’s Department and is the former Chief of Police of Lambert.
He most recently served as the Director of Campus Safety for CCC.
Addressing both the graduates and their parents, Williams shared some of his personal trials, encouraging them that they too can still succeed. He encouraged the students, who shared aspirations of becoming professional football players, electrical engineers, carpenters and welders, to be obedient to parents and to watch the company they keep.
Conversely, he encouraged parents to set a good example.
“It really takes a village to raise a child, but the prison is not the village,” Williams said.
Williams closed by encouraging the graduates to build on what they have been taught in the program. The graduates were presented Certificates of Completion before celebrating their achievements over refreshments.