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STAR33Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything”, by George Bernard Shaw is very relevant to the occasion today. Twenty-two students who experienced substance abuse graduated today at the SB Session Hall. They are considered as the very first batch to the program called Substance Abuse in Preventive Education which the Mayor himself, promulgated by Ronald Allan G. Cesante in coordination with the STAR Center headed by William Flannery. The program aimed to nurture and give skill education not just to the youth but to those who are willing to change by developing their skills. Skill Education includes cookery, automotive, electrical and welding.

The occasion was made more meaningful aside from the presence of their parents and relatives were the presence of the guests. They included Ma’am Jedidah Sumignan of the Cebu Provincial Anit-Drug Abuse Office with her are Ma’am Flordelize Catalona and Cryzel Daclan. The Vice-Mayor, Hon. Jeffrey Becina with the SB councilors, Hon. Mario Montenegro, Hon. William Lagahid and All Barangay Captain (ABC) President, Hon. Elmer Licaros were beaming with support. Also present were the lay ministers of St. William de Aquitania Parish that compose of Bro Ramon Cortez, Bro. Jose Batocotoy, Bro. Roger Herrera, Bro. Valerio Amamangpag and Bro. Allan Alinabon who gave out all their support by being able to give spiritual talks to the students for the past fourteen days and letting them join in their  Basic Ecclesiastic Community that composes of a lot of reflection, prayer and transformation works. Also beaming with pride for the graduates is Police Senior Inspector Virnino Noserable.

“The best way to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is now”, old Chinese proverb that Sir Flannery started in is speech. The program officially started at 11:25am. Sir Flannery gave a very heart warming message to his students of fourteen weeks. Yes, fourteen weeks of specialized training with the aid of dynamic instructors who were also present at the event. Sir Flannery talked about the program as almost as impossible to some but achievable to those who are willing to get up and maintain a level of optimism about their life’s purpose and change for the better. He hoped that this is the beginning of more ceremonies to come. He stressed out that the graduates of this batch made the best decision out of the circumstances that they have been through. In the end, he thanked everyone for a wonderful experience of a life time not just for him but to the graduates as well.

In addition to the heart warming speech is the inspiration message from the keynote speaker, Mayor Ronald Allan G. Cesante, the municipal mayor which started by acknowledging the efforts of everyone that leads to the occasion today especially the instructors for bearing so much patience in nurturing the graduates. He said that Sir Flannery is heaven sent for joining him in setting up a program that is beneficial to the graduates not just for this batch but for the up-coming batches. He points out that the graduates are very much lucky to be complete and able to do the things they wanted to do. In spiritual level, he compared the graduates as the resurrection. They are given new life to change and to be the living witness of God’s mercy. In addition, he challenged the graduates to be the light and a living example to those who did not take the challenge to change for the better. He reminded them of their life’s purpose on earth. Apparently, it is not yet too late to change and the room for improvement is very big indeed. Congratulations Batch 33 of STAR Center!

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