giselle_pollack_web.jpgSome 60 formerly homeless men and women graduated from a Miami Rescue Mission/Broward Outreach Centers program in a recent cap-and-gown ceremony witnessed by more than 250 attendees.

The event marked the first step in what has become a lifetime of redemption for many individuals. With the graduation, they are going back into the community.

The program is the centers’ way of transforming lives. Men and women have to get clean and sober and meet certain education requirements. A graduation happens once every four to five months.

This was the first combined graduation for the Miami, Hollywood and Pompano shelters and the largest to date for the Miami Rescue Mission/Broward Outreach Centers.

Those in attendance were treated to a heartfelt and inspirational afternoon that included performances by the Miami Rescue Mission Regeneration Singers and Band, a group comprised of the formerly homeless; encouraging words from Miami Rescue Mission/Broward Outreach Centers staff; keynote speaker Judge Peter Adrien; and testimonies that detailed the graduates’ struggle with addiction and their pride today.

One graduate, identified in a Miami Rescue Mission statement as Michael Smith who has been a resident of the shelter for the past two and a half years, is coming up on another graduation for himself.

“I will be graduating from Miami Dade College next month, where I’ve been studying secondary teaching and mathematics. I’m going to be a math teacher,” Smith said in the statement.

Graduation took place at the Miami Rescue Mission in Miami on Sunday. It was preceded by a dinner ceremony Saturday at the Broward Outreach Center in Hollywood, where graduates heard from Broward County Court Judge Gisele Pollack.


Pictured:  Judge Giselle Pollack