For 23-year-old Casandra Ruiz, the transition celebration organized by BI Incorporated’s Madera County Day Reporting Center felt better than her own graduation from Ripperdan High School in 2009.
“It was great seeing all my family here,” said Ruiz. “I graduated high school, and it’s kind of the same thing, but this is bigger than that. This is my life and this is where everyone got to see me grow. They know who I am now and what I want to be and what I want to do. The love is great and it helps me a lot to know that people appreciate what I’m doing with myself.”
The ceremony celebrated those who completed the center’s criminal offender program.
A repeat offender, Ruiz was charged with possession of a controlled substance and a stolen vehicle. She became a familiar face to Judge Ernest J. LiCalsi about a year ago and when she found herself in his drug court repeatedly, she decided to call it quits...