On July 14, more than 150 people gathered at Blue Monarch, a long-term residential recovery home in Coffee County, to celebrate the accomplishments of graduates Angela Monk and Brittany Taylor.
The theme of the graduation ceremony was “I Was Blind, But Now I See.”
Blue Monarch residents shared experiences and described the emptiness they experienced in their past, due to abuse and addiction.
Residents then contrasted this void with the opportunities they have today resulting from their journey through the Christian-based recovery program offered at Blue Monarch.
Monk and Taylor gave their personal testimonies including their plans and goals following graduation. Instead of darkness and destruction, the graduates now see “purpose in their pain, hope for their futures, and endless possibilities for their families.”
Monk is currently pursuing her certification as a registered dental assistant, and Brittany Taylor plans to become an X-ray technician.
“I remember the blank expressions on each of your faces the first day you arrived at Blue Monarch,” said Blue Monarch’s Program Director Jeannie Driver to the graduates. “Neither of you were committed to changing your lives entirely. You were both planning to simply check the boxes on your to-do list in order to get back to a life of avoidance and numbness. Then, one day the scales finally fell from your eyes as you began recognizing your own self-worth. Today you are glowing and the determination you have for building a solid life for your families is evident in each decision you make. I am so excited that you now see the potential in yourselves that we recognized in you from day one.”
Before presenting the graduation certificates, Susan Binkley, Blue Monarch’s founder and director, shared her own thoughts and perspective on the tremendous growth and transformation she has witnessed.
Before completing the program, all graduates take a Work Ethics course, which is taught by Binkley.
This process always provides amusing memories as she reflects on specific examples of growth and maturity, said Binkley.
“We may start out with a lot of work to do, but I have the amazing privilege of seeing the lightbulb come on for the first time as they establish a real plan for the future,” Binkley said. “It was exciting to see the moment Angela realized she could become a dental assistant, and when Brittany discovered her desire to become an X-ray technician.”
Monk and Taylor plan to remain onsite at Blue Monarch as participants of Women In Newly Grounded Success (WINGS) transitional program for graduates.
The graduates will be able to gradually transition back into the community as they begin working or pursuing education, while still benefitting from the supportive Blue Monarch staff and community.
For more information about Blue Monarch, contact Operations Director Kate Cataldo at 931-924-8900 or visit www.bluemonarch.org.