On June 8, 2023, a proud group of adults in custody (AICs) gathered in the chapel at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI) with a small number of loved ones and several staff. GED Instructor, Mr. Villers, opened the ceremony, followed by a wonderful invocation by Chaplain Zuleta. This was a bitter-sweet moment for all, as this is the last graduation ceremony with Blue Mountain Community College (BMCC). EOCI has enjoyed a long partnership with BMCC, and while we are sad to see them go, we look forward to continuing education programming for AICs.
Some of the education staff, fought back tears as they expressed how proud they are of the men who worked so hard to earn this academic achievement and the fond memories they have of BMCC. AIC Anthony Fowler gave a simple, yet inspiring speech on behalf of the graduating class. AIC tutors were also recognized during the ceremony for their invaluable assistance in helping fellow AICs better themselves.
After the presentation of diplomas, refreshments were offered, including large cinnamon rolls made for this event. The short ceremony was a pleasant experience, highlighting the work being done, in prisons across Oregon, to assist men and women in making better decisions as they prepare to re-enter society.