AU Celebrates Second
Young Adult “Super Advocate” Graduation
Congratulations to the young adults graduating from AU's 2nd "Super Advocate" class. To recognize and honor these courageous and outstanding individuals, a commencement ceremony was held Friday, March 5, 2010 at Capitol Region Mental Health Center in Hartford. AU's YA Program Director and class teacher Lyne Stokes, M.Ed., orchestrated and led this terrifically successful and hope filled ceremony.
More than sixty friends, family, guests, and fellow AU Advocates attended the ceremony honoring the graduating students.
AU Board President John Sims summarized the Young Adult Super Advocate Program as the nation's cutting edge program of its kind for young adults in recovery from psychiatric disabilities and/or substance abuse. DMHAS Commissioner Patricia Rehmer, MSN, and CRMHC Director of Recovery and Community Integration Carl Shields, MS, NCC, LPC, provided powerful and motivating speeches, as did Annmarie Fedak, LCSW, Director of CRMHC's Young Adult Outpatient Services. Brandon McMahon, a Super Advocate Graduate from the first Young Adult class held in 2009 in West Haven, provided an exciting update on his life and recovery and all that he's accomplished since his graduation. AU Executive Director Dr. Karen Kangas and Lyne Stokes, M.Ed., presented each of the students with their graduation diplomas.
The ceremony also featured a special showing of “Our Faces of Recovery,” a video by the young adult graduates about their experiences with recovery - Watch the Video.
Representatives from many organizations attended this event, including the Department of Children and Families, and DMHAS Director of Young Adult Services Cheryl L. Jacques, MSN, APRN. AU Executive Director Karen Kangas provided concluding remarks and closed the ceremony by allowing attendees to add comments. Dr. Kangas also thanked everyone for their support of AU's Young Adult Program.
Another highlight of the event was the reading of the Honorable Gov. Jodi Rell's personal letter to the graduates graciously commending each of the students and recognizing their achievement (read Gov. Rell's letter).
A complimentary reception followed the commencement activities.
For information about AU's Young Adult "Super Advocate" Program and resources for young adults in recovery, see YA Program.
~ AU's Young Adult Super Advocate Program was developed by
Lyne Stokes, M.Ed., Young Adult Program Director.
57 Advocacy Education Courses plus two Young Adult "Super Advocate" Classes have been held throughout Connecticut since AU was founded. More than 430 students have now graduated and become AU Advocates, 61 from AU's six Hispanic courses.
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