TCC, Florida Department of Corrections host inaugural graduation ceremony for transitioning inmates

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 1:30 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - In order to help ease the transition process from prison, Tallahassee Community College has partnered with the FDC to help seven inmates graduate from their commercial vehicle driving program.

“I feel good. I’m going to be very successful and I’m not going to let anybody down,” said new CDL holder, Juwan Stile.

TCC had their inaugural graduation ceremony for seven transitioning offenders who have earned their commercial drivers license, a major feat that not everyone can do.

“To have an industry recognized credential, one that’s in demand, sought after locally, statewide and nationally and that they’re prepared to go day one? It is amazing,” said TCC’s VP of Workforce Innovation, Kimberly Moore.

TCC partnered with the Florida Department of Corrections to help this transition and give these gentlemen a second chance at life.

“I mean wouldn’t it be great if we hit the point where every man or woman that left incarceration knew exactly what they were going to do when they become a returning citizen to our communities,” exclaimed FDC Secretary of Corrections Mark Inch.

The seven men did whatever they could to hold each other accountable to reach their goals.

“Where one of us lacked, another one of us stepped in and pushed him to give him the opportunity, to give them the guidance and we all pulled as a team,” explained new CDL holder Mark Hagist. “We actually took seven amazing men and made this happen and it’s a great feeling.”

The graduating men tell me that knowing people cared about their success made them want to achieve greater.

“Man it made me want to be more successful in my future and made me think more about the goals I need to accomplish to make everybody proud,” shared Stile.

“My mother is just, she’s so proud. To make her feel so proud of me at 57 years old, for her to be as proud as she is of me to jump over this milestone and change my life it says it all,” said an emotional Hagist.

TCC has trained and issued more than 1200 credentials at five different correctional facilities and one work release center across Florida.

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