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A life-changing program

The Maui News / LILA FUJIMOTO photos
The Maui News / LILA FUJIMOTO photos
The Maui News / LILA FUJIMOTO photos
The Maui News / LILA FUJIMOTO photos

First photo: Graduates pose with (from left) 2nd Circuit Judge Peter Cahill, Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu, Mayor Michael Victorino and 2nd Circuit Chief Judge Richard Bissen (far right) after the 73rd Maui Drug Court graduation ceremony Thursday afternoon. The graduates, who completed the program of intensive treatment and supervision, are (from left next to Victorino) Ikaika Vierra, Randal Rodrigues, Dennis Rieta, Ka’ipo Vida, Shane Carey, Dylan Kepa and Emmanuel Dickson.

Second photo: Graduates Randal Rodrigues (right) and Shane Carey are congratulated by friends and family members after the 73rd Maui Drug Court graduation ceremony Thursday afternoon in the courtroom of 2nd Circuit Chief Judge Richard Bissen, who serves as the Drug Court judge. Seven defendants had criminal charges dismissed or periods of probation ended early when they successfully completed the program, bringing the total number of program graduates to 663. On Friday, Marcy “Akela” Kaulili graduated from the Molokai Drug Court at its 23rd graduation ceremony, bringing the total to 38 graduates.

Third photo: Dylan Kepa addresses family members and friends during the ceremony Thursday afternoon. “This program has shown me what life is all about,” Kepa said. “It showed me true perseverance to never give up, even when the odds seem to be against me. No matter how much mistakes I made in my past, it does not define me.”

Forth photo: Second Circuit Chief Judge Richard Bissen congratulates Randal Rodrigues after the 73rd Maui Drug Court graduation ceremony Thursday afternoon. Rodrigues, who spent three and a half years in the program of intensive treatment and supervision, said graduating was “one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. With each day that passes, life keeps getting better and better.”

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