It’s never too late to say I’m sorry; it’s never too late to say I love you; and for the men at the Billy Moore Correctional Center in Overton, it is also never too late to get an education.
Twenty-six offenders graduated through the Goodwill High School program recently. Several who participated shared how they felt about receiving their high school diplomas.
Robert Hatfield said, “ I think that once the Goodwill program got started, it went very well. The teachers were willing to teach us, and the staff came along and helped us with everything they could. A high school diploma taught me that no matter your circumstances, that you can always overcome and never give up on what you want.”
Jay Allen, another graduate said, “It showed me how to further myself in life. And I can actually look forward to doing something better with my life.
Graduate Ricardo Bustos added, “Most of all our teachers and the principal are dedicated to help us get our diploma. That’s what was actually the best thing.”
Hipolito Deleon summed it up by saying, “I never thought I was going to get this high school diploma. But, now that I did, I’m happy – happy that I accomplished something that I should’ve done a long time ago. I’m 45 years old; I got my high school diploma. And now I can tell my grandkids that are in school not to give up. Because their ‘Papa’ didn’t give up. And I’m proud of that…I see that the teachers were dedicated and wanted to teach us. And a lot of us, with low scores, came up to be high scorers from everything we learned from our teachers.”
Above the entryway just inside the correctional center is inscribed the acronym BIONIC – Believe It Or Not I Care. These 26 graduates learned there is truth behind those words.
The Billy Moore Correctional Center is accredited by the American Correctional Association, achieving over 99 percent compliance for both mandatory and non-mandatory standards in its most recent audit. Warden John Rupert is currently over the correctional center.