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Feb. 23, 2018
HCC Holds Caledonia Graduation
WELDON, N.C. – Halifax Community College (HCC) is proud to announce the certificate completion of 54 inmates in the Caledonia Minimum Security Correctional Institute on Feb. 23.

The graduation ceremony, held at the correctional facility, began with a welcome by Assistant Superintendent Ricky Duke, followed by an invocation by Chaplain Henry Tysor.

Each program instructor spoke about the commitment of their students, and the dedication it took to complete their programs. "You were a winner the day you enrolled in the course," said Kent Dickerson, instructor of the electrical wiring program. "Youíve earned something today that no one can take away from you."

Joseph Curley, instructor of the plumbing program, told the graduates, "Your work, even though itís not the easiest environment to learn in, will change your life. I commend you for it."

Michael Powell, the instructor of the commercial cleaning program, said, "You are all college students. Never forget that. Thank you for being students. I have enjoyed teaching each of you."

Each program also had a student representative who brought comments from the class. One representative from the electrical wiring program said, "This was the best six months of my life. On behalf of the electrical class, I made you a thank you card." The representative from the commercial cleaning program presented Powell with a handmade scroll, signed by each class participant, thanking him for being a great instructor.

In addition to the three certificate programs, two students completed the General Education Diploma program. According to the instructor, seven men completed the program in the last year, and one has gained acceptance to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

As the keynote speaker, Dr. Michael Elam, president of HCC, brought words of encouragement, reminding each of the students that their commitment will change their life upon re-entry to society. "Iím excited and delighted that you would honor me by allowing me to share a few words of congratulations with you," Elam said. "I want to thank the instructors for their commitment and the way you present the information to keep these men engaged. Today is proof positive that you are doing your job with dedication."

Elam went on to share his thoughts on the importance of integrity and his pride in the hard work of each graduate. "In all you do, be true to yourself, tell the truth, keep the right company, be faithful, and have a positive attitude," Elam said. "If you do that, your life will be dramatically different upon your re-entry."

The Caledonia Minimum Choir, a group of nine inmates, presented two musical selections during the ceremony. The leader of the group, as he prepared to sing, told the graduates, "We offer our congratulations to you. We know these certificates were not given to you, they were earned."

Duke closed the program with words of appreciation for the Caledonia staff who made the event possible, including Angelia Powell, the Correctional Program Supervisor and Educational Coordinator for both the medium and the minimum security institutions.

In addition to Elam, seven members of the HCC were also in attendance. They were: Dr. Bruce Busby, interim vice president of curriculum; Larry Crisafulli, customized training director and Quality Effectiveness Officer; Jerry Edmonds, interim dean of Workforce and Economic Development and director of the Small Business Center; David Forester, vice president of administrative services; Allisha Hicks, assistant chair of the School of Health Sciences and Human Services Technology, School of Career and Technical Education; Sheril Roberts, chair of the School of Health Sciences and Human Services Technology, School of Career and Technical Education; and Molly Wallace, director of public relations and marketing.

Caledonia Minimum Security Correctional Institute in Tillery houses 472 inmates. The certificate program through HCC is designed to help inmates have greater options for employment upon re-entry to society. This is proven to minimize recidivism in the prison population. Certificates can be earned in electrical wiring, plumbing, commercial cleaning, small engine repair, masonry and food service technology and apprenticeship. In addition, inmates can earn their ABE/GED, as well as their Career Readiness Certification (CRC) at each of the four levels.
Halifax Community College's Mission
Halifax Community College strives to meet the diverse needs of our community by providing high-quality, accessible and affordable education and services for a rapidly changing and globally competitive marketplace.
Media Contact: Molly Wallace, Director of Public Relations & Marketing, mwallace786@halifaxcc.edu, 252-538-4319