Life-changing, one diploma at a time

Depending on who you are, or where you come from, education can open up many opportunities. Leicester Roberts and other prisoners know this is true.

Prisoners and staff gathered at St. Crox’s Golden Grove Adult Prison on Tuesday afternoon, and family and other guests joined the first line of life for the graduation of the Academy of Life.

The academy is an educational program provided by the Office of Corrections in collaboration with the Virgin Islands University Leadership and Learning Center.

UI Center Director Susan Darow-Margas presided over the ceremony, with Winnie Tasmark, director of the Bureau of Corrections, giving the opening remarks.

Tesfammark explained that the academy will give inmates the opportunity to complete high school and receive their diplomas. “That’s why we do what we do.

The prisoner and student, Stephen Hyacinth, spoke of the importance of staying positive in prison.

“You have received all the knowledge you need,” said Hyanit.

Leicester Roberts graduated, earning a GED from Pen Foster High School. Roberts thanked his friends and family for their support.

“The more a person grows, the more knowledge he has. Your persistent words of encouragement move me forward. ”

Roberts has a strong interest in agriculture and plans to apply to Virginia Island University’s gardening program.

Correction Construction Superintendent Anthony Wheeler certified 10 students in construction math. The course is certified by the National Construction Education and Research Center.

Prisoner Rodney Miller awarded certificates to 15 students in a financial management course. Launched in May, the course covers loans, loans, stocks and other financial concepts.

“I see you working hard day and night, and I look forward to great things in the future,” Miller said.

Miller noted a 92% attendance rate for students throughout the course.

Peter Abraham, director of correctional programs and grants, concluded the ceremony by waiting for the students to return to the community.

“No one can take away from you what you have learned today. The certificates, the high school diplomas, that’s what they ask for. Keep up the good work, ”said Abraham.


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