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Congratulations to our latest CEASE graduates

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CEASE finished another wave of our 12 week smoking cessation classes with 16 graduates!  On April 16th we held a graduation ceremony at Wayman A.M.E. Church to celebrate their great achievements. Classes started in January and ended April 9th and in spite of the crazy winter, they continued until the end. We are so proud of those who fought to stay committed through the ups and downs.

If you or someone you care about smokes, get ready to sign up for new classes that will be starting in June!

CEASE is about making a lasting impact on people’s lives. Get involved by joining a class or support our vision by becoming a partner. You can find more information on our website: http://ceasebaltimore.org/.

We weren’t smoking- but we were cookin’!!

ceasecookingOn Saturday, March 29th CEASE participants and staff took a field trip to the “Simple ’Cooking from the Heart’ Kitchen” located at Stratford University Culinary College. Their chef, Tia Berry, gave cooking demonstrations at three of CEASE classes in March which everyone loved. So for  the first time CEASE took a road trip to visit and learn with one of our partners, and it went way beyond our expectations!

Greeted by a team of Chefs in their gleaming kitchen and bright white uniforms, we quickly learned proper knife techniques, tips for easier vegetable cleaning, spices better than salt,  how to store unused ingredients, and more.  Encouraged every step of the way, there was as much laughing as learning. When we finished cooking and cleaning, collected our recipes and said goodbye, we had our food ready to serve back home- enough for 4 and for only $5.

The Cooking from the Heart kitchen may have started out as a field trip for us, but we left wanting to come back again- to learn a healthier way to cook for sure, but also because when you cook with someone, a special connection is created…the kind of connection CEASE is all about.

For more information about the Simple ‘Cooking from the Heart” Kitchen, visit http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Affiliate/BaltimoreKitchen_UCM_453841_SubHomePage.jsp or call 410-246-6715.

The information contained in this blog is educational in nature and intent. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information presented is correct. However this information is not intended as professional medical advice nor as recommendations, neither should it be interpreted as the practice of medicine. Please feel free to use the information from this blog for educational and personal purposes, as long as it is properly cited.

Congratulations to our latest CEASE graduates!

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In December 2013, CEASE finished another wave of our 12 week smoking cessation classes with 28 graduates! We are so proud of those who fought to stay committed through the ups and downs. We interviewed one of our very own graduates, Ms. Rosita- Raglin Parker (pictured above with family), to get her thoughts about her experiences quitting smoking.

Why did you choose CEASE?

Well, I first heard about CEASE through an ad in the local city paper. I wanted to stop smoking first and foremost. But also at that time, I was going through some financial struggles and the incentives were helpful.

Describe your overall experience with CEASE.

Positive! Very positive! The support I received was overwhelming. They gave me confidence that I could actually do it. I would be excited to go to sessions, get out the house, and be around like-minded people. My Peer Motivators were terrific and wonderful. Even now, they still check on me to see how I’m doing.

What skills did you learn that you will use in your everyday life?

The information was very straightforward and practical. They showed me how to get through it day by day. Find something else to do, take a walk and the three D’s: do nothing, delay, and don’t smoke.

What was the most challenging part of this journey?

The first two weeks I had serious cravings.  The patches, the gum, having the classes as somewhere to go, including support all helped me along the way. I really challenged myself to get through this. Hold on a little longer. The peer motivators had positive attitudes, it’s like they actually cared. They make you feel like you are not in it by yourself.

 What was the most rewarding moment?

The night we had graduation. When you overcome an addiction, it’s extremely hard.  Oh my gosh it’s so hard.  But I really prayed and each day you go, it has to get better.

Would you recommend CEASE to a friend or family member and why?

Yes, it’s a great program. They make you feel worthy. Even if you slow down, they make you feel like you can accomplish anything.

CEASE is about making a lasting impact on people’s lives. Get involved by joining a class, or support the vision by becoming a partner. You can find more information on our website: http://ceasebaltimore.org/.

Our CEASE Retreat December 2013

We arrived at the Mt. Washington Conference Center at 10am on Friday, December 13, 2013, ready to work.  The CEASE Team consisted of Payam, Fernando, Lisa, Christine, Kaye, Yvonne, Brenda, Derek, Pam, Maria and I.  We were greeted with continental breakfast and that was the boost we needed to send us on our way.  In order to complete the curriculum for the first 6 weeks, we needed to be prepared and focused on the hard work and dedication that was required of us.

After a brief introduction and an overview of the retreat, we jumped right into our “Tool Box”, a compilation of documents, pictures, poems, exercises, websites etc. that we peer motivators will use with the curriculum to make each class more effective.  The Tool Box was constructed, organized and pulled together by Christine. We went through the Tool Box for about an hour, using it with Week One of our classes, “Welcome”.  That was when we realized how much needed to be done in this retreat!  We had to role play what each session would look like and it was not easy.  The things we had were not running smoothly so we removed some things and put other tools in to make an awesome Welcome Day!

Lisa walked us through an activity of being “Good Listeners”, which is an excellent way for the peer motivators to do our jobs. The skills we acquired, from her exercise, will make all the difference in building trusting relationships with our participants.  We were well on our way to completing Week One when we realized that it was lunch time.  So off we went to enjoy the mouth watering, fantastic smelling food that awaited us.  We had an hour break then right back to work we went.

The afternoon session was productive. We learned from the morning session that it is very time consuming for all of us to brainstorm each session, so we did a very smart thing by breaking up into teams and working on the sessions in groups, then coming together to discuss our thoughts.  That went rather well and we ended the first day of the retreat excited and feeling a little more confident that our new curriculum was going to be phenomenal.  We ended the day with homework:  go over next few sessions and add items from the Tool Box so we could jump right in the next day.

Day Two of the retreat started at 9 A.M. We began discussing the homework and how we needed the agenda for the classes to change.  We gave Christine the list of Tools to be added and she gave us corrections from the previous day.  We worked through Week Two until we realized just how many tools could be used.  After that each team of peer motivators penciled in the tools they used and we would review it later.  Time for lunch!

After lunch, we broke into groups to ensure that we got through all six weeks.  We accomplished so much and were extremely excited about what our new curriculum was turning out to be.  Once Week Six was done, we had a moment to reflect on our work.  Now we were done with our retreat and ready to start our new classes with the confidence that all of our hard work proves how much we care about what we do.  The classes are scheduled to begin the second week in January 2014, and WE ARE READY!

— Timeeka Wilkins-Addison

Retreat

Past Participant? You may qualify for a new study.

If you have ever participated in a CEASE Quit Smoking Class, you may qualify for a short 1-hour study. We will pay $25 stipend for your time, and offer free refreshments.  For more information please call 443-814-9145 or email ceasebaltimore@gmail.org for more information.

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CEASE Reunion Celebration – Feb 23rd 2013

Join CEASE as we celebrate the efforts and successes of our all of past and present Quit Smoking Class participants.

Click the flyer below for more information.

 

To RSVP Click here

 

 

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