Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Gary's Graduation

I went to the graduation ceremony. Andrew and Brian went along, but they were not allowed in because of issues of confidentiality. Deeply disappointed they took the car keys and went out for shakes or whatever they wanted.

They called it a graduation, but it like a normal graduation. It was only him, for one. There are about 12 boys in the house at any given time and not everyone who leaves "graduates." Some put in their time and go having not completed the program and others leave for more secure facilities having gotten into trouble. Every now and then though there is a kid like Gary who completes the program, and he gets a graduation.

It starts with the boys and staff sitting around in a big circle. Everyone shares their hopes and fears for Gary. It was very informative for me. I found out that the most common fear his peers had for him was that he would get upset about something and shut down, possibly making a small problem into a big one. Their hopes were more diverse: that he finish high school; become a famous chef; finish high school early; get to live in Hawaii with his dad (after finishing high school).

These young men are very focused on the importance of finishing high school.

The staff's fears were more along the lines of him trying to grow up to quickly, not taking time to enjoy being fifteen, and not asking for help when he had a problem. Then he got the a framed certificate, a brownie, and a chance to carve "his mark" on the large tree stump in the back yard.
And then I took him home.


  1. I'm so happy for you that he is home now! Now you can get down to business :)

  2. How cool that he wanted to share that with you. That means a lot.

  3. "And then I took him home."

    That felt good. Blessings and PT.

  4. That's such a great thing to do. It must mean a lot to Gary and it must have been interesting to hear the thoughts and fears of others who have known him longer than you.

    It's a pity the other boys couldn't be there, but I'm sure they understood. You've raised some great young men.

  5. Sounds it was good for both of you. You learned a lot and Gary gets to go "home". I like the sound of that too.

    Hey and brownies and shakes are always good.

  6. That's a great ceremony. Probably better than most families would do; at least much more intimate. Nice.


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