Advocacy Unlimited Celebrates 38th Graduation Ceremony
~ Fourth Hispanic Graduation ~
Graduates of the 4th Hispanic Advocacy Education Course
Congratulations to the graduating students of the 2009 Hispanic Mi Casa class, the fourth AU Advocacy Education Course taught entirely in Spanish. A commencement ceremony was held July 8, 2009 to recognize and honor these courageous individuals as they begin their journey as AU Advocates.
The commencement ceremony featured keynote speaker Pete Rosa, Program Officer, Hartford Foundation; Jorge L. Rivera, Founder and Executive Director, Mi Casa Family Services; and Thomas A. Kirk, Jr., Ph.D., Commissioner of DMHAS. Each of the graduates gave moving speeches recounting their experiences in the course and their recovery. Many kudos to Annette Deonarine, AU's Director of Education and Latino Initiative, who conducted this extremely successful event and presented each of the graduating students with their Certificates of Achievement. Annette was responsible for all the arrangements with Mi Casa and the Hartford Foundation for hosting this class and graduation, and also taught the 14-week course. A complimentary reception followed the commencement activities.
AU greatly appreciates and thanks Mi Casa Family Service and Educational Center for providing space and supporting this 14 week course. AU also thanks the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving in Hartford, CT for graciously sharing their conference space and hosting the graduation ceremony.
Commissioner receives special award…
During the ceremony, AU Board of Directors President John Sims and AU Executive Director Karen Kangas, Ed.D, presented DMHAS Commissioner Thomas A. Kirk, Jr., Ph.D, with a Karen Kangas Award for Excellence in Advocacy for his outstanding contributions to the field of mental health and substance use disorders…
"In recognition of his tireless efforts and dedication in support of persons in recovery, his vision of recovery and a transformed mental health system, his support of Advocacy Unlimited, Inc., and his successful leadership of Connecticut's Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services into the national forefront, Advocacy Unlimited proudly presents this 2009 Dr. Karen Kangas Award for Excellency in Advocacy to Commissioner Thomas A. Kirk, Jr., Ph.D"
~ July 8, 2009
AU has held 54 Advocacy Education Courses throughout Connecticut since its founding in 1994. Over 390 students in recovery from psychiatric disabilities or co-occurring disorders have graduated from the Advocacy Education Course and become AU Advocates.
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