49th Advocacy Education Course Graduation Held April 13th
~ AU's 12th Hispanic Course ~
State Capitol - North Lobby
Another spectacular AU graduation was held Friday, April 13th at the State Capitol in Hartford. This commencement ceremony honored the students of AU's 12th Latino Advocacy Education Course. Each of the graduates did an outstanding job of speaking and all were excited and proud to have made it successfully through the course.
AU was honored to have a litany of well-known speakers who all gave gracious and uplifting speeches: AU's Executive Director Dr. Karen Kangas; Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra; State Representative Bobby Sanchez; Senator John Fonfara; DMHAS Commissioner Pat Rehmer; DMHAS Deputy Commissioner Paul DeLeo; DMHAS Regional Director Michael Michaud; and Pete Rosa, Senior Program Officer, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Annette Deonarine, AU's Director of Multicultural Affairs, who was also the class instructor, did an outstanding job of hosting and conducting the ceremony. Credit also goes to Angel Rivera, a previous Advocacy Education Course graduate, who was Annette's Class Assistant.
This graduation was dedicated to the memory of Roberto Garcia who passed away on February 17th. Roberto was a key participant in the inception of AU's Latino Initiative, teaming with AU's Director of Multicultural Affairs Annette Deonarine to successfully develop and implement the Hispanic Advocacy Education training program. Roberto's family was present at this commencement ceremony. His wife and daughters spoke, and graciously accepted a plaque honoring Roberto presented by State Representative Bobby Sanchez. See Roberto's Memorial.
Plaques were also awarded to Patricia Gonzales, Latino Community Services (LCS) Program Director and to Angel Rivera, formerly Annette's Class Assistant and now an employee of LCS.
Each of the graduating students gave speeches pertaining to their recovery journey prior to receiving their graduation certificates. Dr. Kangas and Annette then presented each of the students with their Graduation Certificates. Mayor Segarra graciously congratulated each student as they received their certificates. Dr. Kangas provided closing remarks, doing an excellent job of summarizing the event and the positive impacts the graduates can now make on the lives of others in recovery.
AU appreciates and thanks Latino Community Services of Hartford, CT for hosting this 12th Latino Advocacy Education Course.
68 AU courses and 49 graduations have now been held throughout Connecticut since AU was founded. Twelve of the courses have been offered in Spanish. A total of 481 persons in recovery from psychiatric disabilities or co-occurring disorders have now graduated and become AU Advocates, 91 of whom are Hispanic course graduates. More than 60 young adults have graduated from AU's Young Adult "Super Advocate" Program. In addition, 318 individuals have been State Certified as Recovery Support Specialists through AU's comprehensive Recovery University program.
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