Graduation Speech

Hello lovely people,

Every Tuesday in my program is graduatiion. This is my last Tuesday with the program and I want to graduate. I was going to just answer the questions they are supposed to answer with my usual slightly sarcastic flair, but someone suggested being sincere.

I had already thought about being sincere prior to the person’s comment, but at that moment I realized that I needed to write something. If I’m going to tell you how I feel and what I really think I need to write it down. So here is my graduation speech. I wrote it last night. I’m probably not going to read it word for word, but it gives me an idea of what I want to say.

I wanted to share it with all of you lovely people (a little late for loving Mondays due to me forgetting, but it’s my blog. I can do what I want). We’ll talk soon.

Before entering RISE, I hadn’t thought much about the program. I was more focused on the fact that over a year after finishing grad school I was finally going to get hours towards being licensed. Also, I could quit my overnight job. I had never stepped foot in a jail before. My last counseling internship was running groups with women. But I didn’t actually think about any of that.

I was nervous when I started out. I didn’t like going onto the unit. Not because it was a bunch of men who happen to be in jail. It has more to do with me not being a people person, but eventually things changed. I started to become part of a community.

Now after almost 5 years in RISE (and 2 or 3 years of begging and praying) I finally have an outdate. It’s not the way that I wanted it to happen and I’m not prepared, but I’m at peace with this. I have RISE to thank in part for that.

Being in RISE has helped reinforce what I do and do not want to do with my life. I am more prepared for handling nonsense from both clients and higher ups. I have more confidence in my abilities (thanks in part to Roxy and the ladies working in women’s RISE telling me how awesome I am every day).

It has been mostly a pleasure working with the RISE program. I have had the opportunity to work with some great men who are just having some trouble and need a little help. I have seen this program grow and change mostly for the better thanks to the staff, but mostly the participants.

You are all capable of so much good. You are more than your current situation. I have seen people succeed and thrive after graduating RISE, while others end up high and paranoid. I’ve heard of some achieving great goals for their life, while others’ life’s ended too soon.

I don’t know what the future holds for any of us, but I know that it’s not a journey to take alone. I have found some wonderful people to do life with. I hope all of you find the same.

I wish each of you the best. I truly do.

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