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Graduates of Get on Track Look to the Future

Oct 24, 2012
(Cleveland) – Most were in their twenties, one was 55. Some took two years, while one did it in three weeks.
Contact:  Ed "Flash" Ferenc, Public information Officer
              Cleveland Municipal Court                   
              216-664-6787   216-857-7420

(Cleveland) – Most were in their twenties, one was 55.  Some took two years, while one did it in three weeks.

 The one thing they all now have in common is a G.E.D.

 It was the fifth graduation ceremony for the Cleveland Municipal Court’s Get on Track program, started in 2006 by Judges’ Emanuella Groves and Lauren C. Moore.

 “We use education as intervention.  The jails are filled with high school dropouts and society has pretty much given up on these people.  We cannot allow that to continue if we want this city to move forward,” said Judge Groves.

 The Get on Track program is an intense program of personal and social development at the Cleveland Municipal Court, in partnership with over a dozen local organizations. It’s designed to facilitate eligible young men and women in becoming law-abiding responsible adults, as well as contributing members of society by helping them to realize and understand that education, employment, character development and possessing a valid driver’s license are keys to a more successful life style.  

 The 63 graduates heard from Ward 8 Councilman Jeffrey Johnson, who in 1998 was convicted of campaign fundraising related violations and sentenced to 15 months in prison.

 “To get to the gowns and the hats is not an easy step.  I was blessed to do it three times with three college degrees, but even despite my degrees, I got off track too,” said Johnson.

 Special awards were given to student standouts, like Sherron Copeland who overcame the most obstacles since he’s a single dad and father of four.   Joseph Lugo finished the program in three weeks, while Victor Winston, who at the age of 55 took two years to complete the program through classes at Project Learn.

 “I was caught driving with a suspended license.  When I came to court, I asked to be placed in the program and it turned out to be one of the greatest experiences in my life.  I’m so happy and proud of myself that I finally did it,” said Winston, a mechanic and church musician now planning to go to Tri-C to study music.

 Tanisha Murphy, who is now enrolled in nursing school, was given a laptop computer donated by Court Community Service for being the most committed to the Get on Track program.


 VIDEO:  Keynote Speaker -- Jeffrey Johnson, Esq., Cleveland Councilman Ward 8.  


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