Woman wearing sleepshades stands beside a row of hotel pans filled with food

Cynthia with her graduation meal for 60 lined up inside the serving window. Her job is done at this point, and her selected servers are about to take over.


Cynthia finished her final weeks in the Independence Training Program (ITP) while working her new part-time job. Thus she finished things out in a slightly unusual order, cooking a delightful grad meal on a Thursday, then finishing her woodshop project before her last requirement – giving a speech to the entire Center the next week.

woman in sleep shades removes large sheet of cookies from a glowing ovenHailing from Oklahoma, she decided to stay in Colorado. Not only does she have her new job, but her own apartment as well.

So it was with a special sense of pride for her achievements that we ate her final meal, checked out the lovely bookshelf she built and heard her final speech on “How to get a job.”

She definitely set a great example to follow, but more than that, Julie Deden pointed out how much she’s given all through her program.

student stands beside her  handsome 3-shelf bookshelf“You are one of the kindest, most caring people Cynthia,” Julie said at Cynthia’s bell ceremony. “You’ve mentored so many students while you’ve been here.”

So true, as student after student as well as teachers noted her kindness and her concern for her fellow students. It is a gift to all who know her.

And now she’s on her way with her Freedom Bell, apartment and a job to help her get established in her adopted state! Keep it going

Smiling woman rings her hand bell vigorously

Cynthia not only earned her Freedom Bell, but mentored her fellow students along the way with her genuine concern for others.

Cynthia!