Applause and cheers rang throughout the NHFPL (The Ives Main Branch) on November 7th as 12 participants marked their graduation from the KHAIR program, a milestone on their journey to success and self worth.
Families, friends and program officials gathered together to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates, who ranged in age from 13 to 17. Each was called to the stage to receive their certificate of completion, with two participants from The Children’s Center of Hamden honored for perfect attendance and receiving a gift card from Ashley’s Ice Cream. Each graduate also received a $25 gift card from the Gap store in Hamden, a KHAIR partner.
Monica Joyner, Assistant Principal at Wilbur Cross High School, gave a passionate commencement speech, encouraging the graduates to achieve their dreams and attain their goals. She reminded them never to let their past determine their future, or their experiences keep them down.
“You have the power to stand and press forward your goal,” she continued, giving each participant a framed poem depicting a rose blooming through the ‘concrete’ of life and a journal. To begin those journals, she had each graduate write down five affirmations to recite every morning:
- I embrace my flaws because I know that nobody is perfect
- I get better every day in every way
- I am who I want to be starting right now
- All of the mistakes I made yesterday are creating the person I’ll be tomorrow
- Failure is great feedback
The ceremony also recognized volunteers, referring clinicians, salons/barbers and workshop facilitators who make the program what it is. Each received a gift for their contribution and commitment to the KHAIR program.
KHAIR (pronounced “care”) serves at-risk youths by pairing them with hairstylists and barbers who will commit to complimentary services. The program emphasizes one-on-one mentor/youth relationships combined with a range of individual and group activities, including self-concept and self-esteem building workshops. The program helps young people not only learn about grooming to improve their appearance, but it also provides positive adult role models who are successful business people and who demonstrate healthy ways to relate to others.
Congratulations KHAIR Graduates! We wish you much success on your journey!
For more information visit us at: www.wekhair.org or call us at 203.949.4023.