WARREN - The third group of individuals who completed the Trumbull County Family Court Dependency Treatment program received praise and recognition for turning their lives around.
Court Magistrate Deborah Marik and Trumbull County Family Court Judge Pamela Rintala presented words of praise and encouragement along with certificates for completing the program.
This was the third graduation held since the program was started. Graduates were Jennifer Drvodelic, Laurie Pizzulo and Jami Grimm.
Jodi Milhoan, drug court facilitator for the program, said it never ceases to amaze her when she sees all the family members, friends, professionals and counselors who attend and show their support to those in the program. It was attend by more than 30 people.
"We want all of you to be part of this and to celebrate the successes we have here today," Milhoan said. "These success stories would not happen without all of your support. We want you to have the opportunity to be here."
Marik said in her words of encouragement to the graduates that while obstacles are a part of everyone's lives, individuals would not be as strong in making changes in their lives without overcoming those obstacles.
She said the three women have overcome such obstacles to have better futures for themselves and their families.
Case manager Scott Genova, who worked with Pizzulo in the program, said she showed ''fortitude and courage'' regarding the challenges and issues she had overcome and the stronger person she became.
Pizzulo said, "This is a day I never thought I would see. I thank everyone who helped me and believed in me."
Case manager Traci Littell said she learned as much from Drvodelic as she learned from her.
"She went through the most difficult period of her life but was able to turn the corners and never looked back,'' she said.
Drvodelic said everything in life happens for a reason and being in the program changed her life.
Littell said Grimm saw hope through adversity and was able to take on life's challenges and set and complete her goals of a better life for herself.
Grimm said many positive changes have taken part in her life noting she had the courage to change what she can and accept what she can't change.
The Trumbull County Family Dependency Treatment Court aims to improve the safety and welfare of children while supporting the recovery of their parents from alcohol and / or drug abuse through comprehensive substance abuse treatment services and judicial supervision.
Milhoan said the program helps substance abusing parents achieve sobriety, receive appropriate treatment, make positive changes in their lives and the lives of their children, and to enable them to function together in their families and communities, thereby being less likely to have future involvement with the courts and the child welfare system.
She said to ensure participants' accountability, motivational strategies for positive behavior changes are used in the form of rewards and consequences.
The dependency treatment court team includes the Family Court magistrate, the FDTC facilitator, a CSB caseworker, treatment providers and mental health providers.