Warner Creek Correctional Facility held a graduation for participants in its Pathfinders program on Tuesday, March 11.
A total of 18 inmates completed the program, which was facilitated by Debbie Startt, and is mandated by the state as a means for promoting change in behavioral actions by changed thinking. The program features a total of nine modules with three hours of classroom time over a four-month period.
Graduate Jesse Patterson provided opening comments at the start of the ceremony, focusing on the benefits of the program through his experience.
“I’ve chosen to not let my past dictate how I live my future,” he said. “I will determine my destiny and the quality of the relationships that are part of my life today. The concepts and techniques Ms. Startt has shared with us in group aren’t the answer to all the journeys that await us upon release, but they can give you a different tactic on dealing with troubling situations. Taking the time to respond and not react has helped me the most in my change process.”
Correctional Rehabilitation Mgr. Trevor Stancliff also commented on the progress demonstrated by the participants of the program.
“You made a choice to participate in the class, and that wasn’t always easy,” he said.
Startt noted that the classes focused on problem solving as well as team-building skills, along with cognitive structuring; all elements that are pertinent to changing thinking patterns for potentially life-altering decision-making.
“What I’ve found most rewarding is the personal growth in each and every one of you,” Startt said. “What I’ve found is if you can’t embrace change, give it a hug once in awhile.”