• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Stepping Up recovery program celebrates another graduation

The Stepping Up Process to End Recidivism (SUPER) held its latest graduation ceremony on May 30. The yearlong program provides support services to those with mental health and/or substance use issues who may have criminal justice involvement.

The ceremony celebrated five graduates who have been in recovery and have not incurred any new criminal charges for at least a year. To go along with the “SUPER” theme, graduates wore capes as they marched down the aisle.

“Now that you are a SUPER graduate, climb to great heights and leap over any obstacles that get in your way,” said Stepping Up Supervisor Amber Humble. “You have earned your capes.”

Earning those capes is always challenging. The Stepping Up staff help graduates, not just through mental health and substance use issues, but also through their life challenges like finding housing or coping with the lose of a loved one.

“I thank each of you for sticking around through difficult times, difficult conversations that we have,” said Stepping Up Peer Support Specialist Al Thomas. ”I have watched each of you persevere.”

Graduates were urged to stay in touch with each other and the program, as Stepping Up staff will continue to be there for them.

“As you embark on this next phase on your journey, know that you are not alone, you are part of a community of individuals who have walked similar paths and faced similar challenges and emerged,” said Peer Support Specialist Pam Goodine.

Certificates were presented to the graduates by Commissioner Gloria Whisenhunt.

SUPER is part of the Stepping Up Initiative. It’s based on a national model that Commissioner Whisenhunt learned about at a National Association of Counties (NACo) workshop. Whisenhunt, who serves on the board of NACo, brought the idea to county staff, who crafted the program, and to her fellow commissioners, who fund the program. It also receives grant funding from The Winston-Salem Foundation and started with an initial grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Foundation.

The Stepping Up Initiative also includes the county’s Mental Health Court, a pre-plea treatment program, which results in the dismissal of charges for successful graduates.

To view more photos of the graduation, click here .

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