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First-Step Male Diversion Program announces first graduating class

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Miguel Chavez is a candidate for the 1st Step Male Diversion Program’s first graduating class. 

TULSA, Okla. — The first graduation of the 1st Step Male Diversion Program will be held on February 21, 2019, at 11 am in Courtroom 406 of the Tulsa County Courthouse.

Mr. Justin Cathey, Mr. Christopher Davis, and Mr. Miguel Chavez have completed all requirements for the 1st Step Male Diversion Program including full-time employment, individual and group therapy, sobriety, and compliance with supervision.

These young men will be leaving our program with a strong foundation allowing them to continue in their futures as involved citizens in the community. Each young man is stepping into a future they and their families can be proud of.

Each has had a different journey, but each has found success. Mr. Cathey was entrapped in addiction and criminal behavior. Now he is employed full-time, raising a daughter on his own, and as he says, “I have learned to live, not just survive.” 

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Christopher Davis will be one of the first graduating members of the 1st Step Male Diversion Program. 

Mr. Christopher Davis is a hardworking father who got caught up with a drug that threatened to send him to prison. Now he has new skills that led to a better paying full time job and is creating a healthy and successful life with his kids and partner. Mr. Davis says the program “was a blessing. It’s a great program to be in as it has a lot of people who not only want to help but care for you and helping you be a better person.”

Mr. Miguel Chavez is headed to drafting school in August at Tulsa Tech and currently working a full time job. Before he came into the program, he was caught up in the idea of easy money and that idea threatened to send him to prison. Mr. Chavez says the program gave him “hope to turn his life around. I now have a vision for the future.”

The 1st Step Male Diversion Program was founded in 2016 by Tulsa Chief Public Defender Rob Nigh, Tulsa Assistant Public Defender David Phillips, and retired Judge William Kellough. They understood the tragic cost of the “school to prison pipeline” in Oklahoma. 1st Step offers young men, ages 18-25, counseling, therapy, a safe and sober residence, career training, job placement, mentoring, life skills, and much more.  Under the supervision of professional staff and a Tulsa County felony judge, the participants in 1st Step can expect to benefit in ways they did not think during their time in the program.

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