(PICTURED), Tanisha Jones, Cynthia Oliver, Dean of Education; Linda Thomas, Valedictorian; Chaplain Bessie Fletcher, Ph.D.; Attorney Jackie Power; commencement speaker; Jaime Cowhick, Debra Tyler, Humanitarian Award Recipients and Chaplain Jean Ezell celebrate at the Mother and Daughter Bible College (MDBC), which hosted its first commencement celebration for the Hollywood Work Release Center for Women (HWRC) graduation class on Aug. 11 at Florida Technical College in Pembroke Pines.

The graduates were joined by their families, friends and the college’s administrators as the inmates received college degrees upon their release from prison. In addition to college degrees, humanitarian awards and certificates of appreciation were distributed. Founder and CEO, Bessie Fletcher and Cynthia Oliver, Dean of Education spent the past five years teaching at the HWRC giving certificates as awards to the inmates. Bessie said the program was developed when “God commissioned me to create a bridge for the women at the HWRC letting them know that change is just a walk across the bridge. Education is the key to personal change. Education is wisdom and after wisdom comes understanding.”