This was originally published on Philadelphia.CBSlocal.com.
By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA, PA, (July 12, 2017) — It may seem a little late in the year for a graduation but for five newly-minted high school diploma recipients, everything was perfect.
The five are graduates of an innovative program to give first time drug offenders a second chance.
As graduates walked in to R. Kelly’s “World’s Greatest,” an unconventional processional for an unconventional graduation. But parents and friends gathered to watch the graduates with the traditional pride and emotion.
“I’m excited and I’m honored that my daughter’s graduating Wednesday. She’s overcome a lot of obstacles and barriers and to see her today. I’m blessed. I’m overwhelmed,” said Elizabeth Jones.
Her daughter Marisol Mas was class speaker, and explained what her diploma meant to her.
“I can pursue my career and I can also tell my daughter Navea, when she gets older, no matter how hard things get, you can do it,” said Mas.
The program, called The Choice is Yours or TCY, gives first time offenders the chance to stay out of jail, and get their record expunged, while they work and earn a diploma.
The partners in the program, JEVS Human Services, Penn Foster High School, the district attorney’s and public defender’s offices , say it has an 85 percent completion rate, saving money on incarceration and creating productive citizens instead of repeat offenders.
YouthBuild 12th Annual Instructional Leadership Institute
Join Penn Foster at the 12th Annual Instructional Leadership Institute to learn YouthBuild programs across the country are leveraging online, technology-enabled learning platforms to generate positive student outcomes.
The Close It Summit 2017
Join Penn Foster and hundreds of leaders in learning, recruitment, and workforce development leaders for the 2017 Close It Summit to highlight and discuss competency-based education, training, and hiring.
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