• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Friday, December 13, 2019

Expanding Stepping Up program graduates more SUPER Women

The Stepping Up Process to End Recidivism (SUPER) celebrated its third graduation this week and will be expanding its services to men next year.

The yearlong program has provided support services after release to women with mental health and substance use issues who were incarcerated at the Forsyth County Detention Center. Starting on Jan. 6, the program will expand to serve men as well.

The Dec. 12 graduation ceremony honored three women who’ve been committed to the recovery process and have been out of jail for at least a year. To go with the ‘super” theme, the graduates donned pink capes as they marched down the aisle to a standing ovation at the Forsyth County Government Center.

“Now that you are a SUPER Woman, fly to great heights and leap over any obstacles that get in your way,” said Stepping Up Program Supervisor Amber Humble. “You have earned your cape.”

Graduates Kim Chisholm, Tomeka Rosenburg and Ashley VanSutphen received their plaques from County Commissioner Gloria Whisenhunt, who was instrumental in bringing the program to Forsyth County.

“Thank you for the hard work,” said Whisenhunt. “I know it’s been a tough year, and we’re very, very proud.”

Stepping Up Peer Support Specialist Pam Goodine said the graduates have formed a bond and gained strength that have helped them on their road to recovery.

“I want to encourage each of you to be honest and be true to yourselves,” said Stepping Up Peer Support Specialist Pam Goodine.

SUPER is part of the Stepping Up Initiative. It’s based on a national model that County Commissioner Whisenhunt learned about at a National Association of Counties (NACo) workshop. Whisenhunt, who serves on the board of NACo, brought the idea to county staff, who crafted the program, and to her fellow commissioners, who fund the program. It also receives grant funding from The Winston-Salem Foundation, and started with an initial grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Foundation.

SUPER is currently working with 12 women, and will be able to take up to 25 men starting starting next year. The Stepping Up Initiative also includes the county’s Mental Health Court, a pre-plea treatment program for both men and women, which results in the dismissal of charges for successful graduates.

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