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Leadership Rockwall Class of 2018 celebrates graduation

Leadership Rockwall Class of 2018 graduates (from left): Megan Riddle, E.J. Pipkin, Patricia Mejia, Jean Laswell, Melody Hail, Lacy Deckward, Daniel de la Torre, Kevin Clark, Bethany Browning, John Beaman, and Tommy Baugh. Not pictured: Garrett Bothun.

(ROCKWALL, TX — June 1, 2018) Members of the Leadership Rockwall Class of 2018 received their diplomas during their graduation ceremony on May 16 at the San Jacinto Plaza in downtown Rockwall.

The event featured an address from keynote speaker James Capra with the Frontline Leadership Group, the presentation of the Alumni of the Year award to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall President Cindy Perrin, and a presentation of LR Class of 2018’s two projects: “Rockwall Information Resource Hubs” and service enhancements to the Children’s Advocacy Center for Rockwall County.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall President Cindy Perrin (left) was presented with the Alumni of the Year award by Rockwall Chamber of Commerce Board Chair-Elect Sylvia Sotelo-Kidd.

The resource hubs are specifically designed to assist local families that find themselves in the middle of a crisis or transition. The class installed these dedicated computer resource stations at the Rockwall County Helping Hands Health Center, Women in Need, and the Rockwall CAC to provide those in crisis served by these local nonprofits with the ability to apply online for housing, work, education, SNAP, WIC and Veteran’s Assistance. Each station comes equipped with a refurbished laptop courtesy of Atmos Energy and a stable internet connection, with six stations installed at the Helping Hands Health Center, one at Women in Need, and two at the Rockwall CAC.

For their second project, the class had the hallways and doors of the Rockwall CAC wrapped in beautiful, stress-reducing artwork designed by Rockwall High School junior Chloe Fritz, and purchased upgraded camera equipment for use in the CAC’s counseling and therapy rooms. The camera equipment will aid the CAC staff in peer reviews, where they can evaluate the services they’re providing and ways they might be able to improve on those services. Rockwall CAC CEO Patricia Mejia explained the equipment will also be beneficial to the CAC’s clinical director in providing a very specific kind of counseling known as trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy.

“Our clinical director is fully staffed right now in terms of her caseload, so we will be quickly bringing in interns. As those interns are coming into the practice and learning the new methodology, it’s really important for her to be able to coach and guide them on how to apply these different techniques. With parental consent, the sessions that take place in each of our therapy rooms can be viewed and she can coach the interns to help make them better professionals. It also helps us make sure we’re grooming more professionals on how to do this type of work,” Mejia said.

The class projects were revealed to the public on May 2 in a dual ribbon cutting at the Helping Hands Health Center and Rockwall CAC, and an Open House event at Women in Need.

Congrats to the following graduating members of the LR Class of 2018:

Tommy Baugh, NTX Indoor Digital Billboards
John Beaman, City of Heath
Garrett Bothun, Garrett Bothun Consulting
Bethany Browning, City of Rockwall
Kevin Clark, City of Rockwall
Lacy Deckward, Regal Realtors
Melody Hail, Rockwall County Helping Hands
Jean Laswell, Rockwall ISD
Patricia Mejia, Children’s Advocacy Center for Rockwall County
E.J. Pipkin, American National Bank of Texas
Megan Riddle, Rockwall County Meals on Wheels
Daniel de la Torre, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall

By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News.

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