Elevate program holds graduation at USCF

For the 18 women dressed in white gowns and hats, it was a day to celebrate – even while being incarcerated.

The women were taking the morning to acknowledge their completion of the Elevate program at the Utah State Correctional Facility. The drug-treatment course is part of programming the women have received in efforts to help them overcome addiction and successfully reenter society.

Completion of Elevate is not an easy task, noted program director Danna Lindermann. Each participant must average a minimum of nine dosage hours of treatment. It includes core curriculum of Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Substance Use, Cognitive Behavioral Intervention Skills group, Relapse Prevention, Seeking Safety and Transition Group.

“Graduates, today you are more than a person in recovery,” Lindermann said during her welcome speech. “You are a survivor, a valuable and important person, worthy of love and acceptance. Today, we honor you.”

She added that of the graduates, three received their 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification, four completed Culinary Arts, two completed Business Tech courses (with one in process), two are in process of completing robotics courses, and three have completed their high school degree or GED.

With friends and family looking on, several of the graduates took to the podium to express their appreciation for the program and for the chance to have a future different than their past.

“It’s been life altering,” said Becky Golly, speaking of the chance to change. “I’m letting go of all my guilt.”