THE SUMTER YOUTH DEVELOPMENT CAMPUS HOSTS DAY OF CELEBRATION
Many representatives of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice traveled to Americus to jointly celebrate the graduation and presentation of high school diplomas, General Education Diplomas, and Technical College Certificates to 17 young men on June 1, 2011.
The occasion was filled with the traditional processional to the sounds of "Pomp and Circumstance." Preceding and after the welcome by YDC Director, Mr. Shawn Banks and the Dedication by Assistant Director, Mrs. LaShonda Williams, talented students of the YDC offered musical tributes of the occasion. Throughout the graduation celebration, students of the YDC conducted the program. Mr. Giovan Bazan, a National Advocate for Youth was the guest speaker. "You have defied statistics. You have taken a dramatic step into shaping your own future in this world. I encourage you all to realize how bright your future can be. I challenge you to cast you nets far and wide," said the former resident of several YDC sites.
With excitement, YDC Principal, Mr. Larry Gibbs assembled state and local representatives to salute the graduates of the day. Joining Principal Gibbs was Mrs. Amy V. Howell, Commission of the Department of Juvenile Justice and Superintendent of the 181 YDC locations throughout Georgia. Each graduate also received a red rose for presentation to family members who were present to offer family support. With emotion and applause, the graduates were welcomed into their new life as successful graduates. Nine graduates were not present for the celebration. These students had earlier completion of graduate requirements and were already at progress stage of their life.
As she entered the complex, Commissioner Howell offered, "Graduation is a proud day for the Department of Juvenile Justice. Today will demonstrate a significant step toward achieving a successful life for these young men. This is a positive accomplishment that reflects the hard work of students with our educators in this safe and secure environment of learning. I commend Sumter YDC."
Traditionally, 150 residents are enrolled on the Sumter Youth Development Campus.
Pictured are the administrators from the Atlanta Central Office along with local stakeholders responsible for the success of the YDC.