Psychological well being courtroom commencement gives Flint man second probability

FLINT, MI – Flint resident Aaron Richards anticipated to return to courtroom Wednesday afternoon to listen to the announcement of his psychological well being courtroom commencement.

What the 30-year-old didn’t count on to occur was Probate Decide Jennie Barkey to announce the clearance of his felony document.

Richards, who pleaded responsible in July 2021 to at least one depend of unarmed theft, started tearing up along with his household by his facet.


“I wanted to do backflips,” Richards mentioned. “Today has meant freedom and I’m thankful for a clean slate on my record I thought I would never have. There were plenty of times I wanted to give up, but I had to fight mentally and emotionally.”

Richards began the Psychological Well being Counseling program in August 2020. He was scheduled to graduate this system in November.

“In the beginning, it was a terrible start,” Richards mentioned. “It was especially hard when it came to the screenings. I was basically not coming in clean a lot of times, but I put in a lot of effort and hard work. I’m just grateful.”


He thanked everybody concerned that helped him, together with his household and Barkey.

Richards took a second to additionally level out and thank Robin Cowan, a therapist he was transferred to work with over the previous 12 months.


“She pretty much is the reason why I wanted to do right,” Richards mentioned.

Cowan mentioned her greatest problem was growing belief between herself and Richards.


“He was very quiet and shy,” mentioned Cowan, who has labored as a therapist for 20 years. “I think after the first session, I knew he didn’t belong in the system. So my goal was to help guide him through and I was hoping it played out the way it did today. I’m on Cloud nine and this is what makes it all worthwhile.”

Richards has a message for individuals who are simply beginning out within the Psychological Well being Counseling program.

“What I want them to know is to keep fighting and going hard,” he mentioned. “Please listen to those who are giving you the tools, knowledge and advice to literally go through the program without any struggles. You might have a couple bumps because you feel like the program isn’t doing much for you, but in actuality, it’s doing a lot.”

Richards has labored at Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties for six months and is in command of the group’s donation space.

Redonna Riggs works at Catholic Charities because the Neighborhood Closet Coordinator.

“As a young black man in Flint, it’s hard not to go off with the gangs and not go off and do what other people are doing,” Riggs mentioned. “He has stayed positive and kept pushing himself because he knew he had his support system. He has been so awesome and has grown a lot.”

Richards began volunteering in 2019 at Catholic Charities. His plans are to proceed working at Catholic Charities and take a trip.

“I’ve never been out of Michigan a day of my life,” he mentioned. “I’m going to stay away from negative influences.”

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