Last Thursday we held the 6th Annual Commencement Ceremony for the FY21 graduates.  For those unable to attend, I just wanted to give you a short summary of the event.   By all accounts it was a wonderful program with the peers/graduates stealing the show!

The theme of the program was “The Next Chapter”.  (The idea being to positively convey to our graduates that with their successful graduation they have the opportunity  to write their next chapter free of probation.)  The commencement ceremony began with congratulatory messages from Congresswoman Lisa Blunt-Rochester by video and County Executive Matt Meyer who brought personalized letters and promised each graduate a copy of Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” .  Then, two former Wilmington HOPE Commission employees, Haneef Salaam, now the ACLU- Smart Justice Campaign Manager  and Sinque Miller, now a Port Operation Assistant Manager provided inspirational personalized stories to the graduates of their current success and a challenge to the graduates to do the same.  They did a wonderful job!

Mayor MiKe Purzycki quipped that the graduates had already received two keynotes from Haneef and Sinque!   The mayor provided the keynote address and asked the graduates for their help in their communities.  They can show by example their successful reentry and positively impact others in their communities. 

However, the true stars of the show were the graduates! J It was truly wonderful to see each of the graduates take the podium.  There were touching moments and humorous moments but each was truly authentic!  The FY21 class of graduates number 22 but though all were not able to make it, those that did really represented the class well!  

A special thank you to the members of the Wilmington HOPE Commission board of directors that attended: Greg Morris, Sinque Miller and Debra Mason.   We had several legislatures that were present as well:  Senator Marie Pinkney, Senator Darius Brown, Senator Franklin Cooke and Senator David Sokola.  Representation from the DOC and Superior Court and other dignitaries were present.

And of course, none of this would be possible without the WHC supporters, partners and the amazing WHC staff! A wonderful time was had by all!