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Independence Training Program

It’s a new kind of graduation, and Charis is the first!

Charis holding her freedom Bell in the lobby, Julie next to herToday Charis is graduating from the center. Hers will be a unique graduation, with the actual Freedom Bell ceremony and the “love session” that typically follows being conducted on Zoom for social distancing purposes. No hug from Julie.

Charis was just one week away from finishing her program when we closed the building in late March and many of our students went home. Graduation means, among other requirements, that she must cook a meal for the entire center. Today that’s about 30 of us altogether.

Charis holds up one of several trays of food for her grad meal at the service windowOn the menu was Mediterranean quinoa salad, home-baked challah dinner rolls and Devil’s Food cupcakes. One other unique aspect of Charis’s graduation meal is that She cooked it all at home over the past couple of days. Since she lives in Lakewood, it was easy to send Ramona to pick her and her food up and bring them in. Grad meals can dominate the kitchen space in the best of times, and this made maintaining social distancing with our other students much easier.

Charis has already started back in college at Metro State, taking one Chemistry lab. That’s her major – Chemistry. IN the fall, she’ll be back full-time as a Metro student, pursuing her science nerd’s dream of a bachelor’s and then a master’s degree in Chemistry. And she’ll do it. No one doubts that, especially not Charis!Charis standing outside next to the CCB sign

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