Nearly 40 people were in attendance which included graduates accepting their certificates and family and friends cheering them on.
Student speaker, Nirendae Johnson, from Saratoga Springs, spoke to her classmates and the audience about the many times she wanted to give up, but instead persevered.
“One of the most important things I learned throughout this journey is that it is always going to be hard, and scary and overwhelming, but that shouldn't stop you from trying. It might take you months or even years to reach your goals but the second you decided to try, you already completed the hardest part,” said Ms. Johnson.
Rose O’Neill, from Saratoga Springs, spoke to her class. Ms. O’Neill was inspired by her own sister’s courage who obtained her high school equivalency diploma and that allowed Ms. O’Neill to try for her own. She also thanked her instructor, who she believes helped her get to this point.
“Everything changed when I met Mr. Frank Finch [HSE instructor]. The moment I walked into the HSE classroom, I felt a renewed sense of hope. Mr. Finch taught me academic subjects but also instilled in me a belief in my own potential,” said Ms. O’Neill.
The high school equivalency diploma has opened up new possibilities for these students such as new job opportunities, goals for continuing education or attending technical school. Their new confidence showed while being presented with their certificates.
District Superintendent, Dr. Turina Parker, spoke about celebrating the accomplishments of the students who persevered through challenges, ups and down, set back and road blocks.
“This evening, we prove that everything is attainable when you put your mind to it. These students have made the impossible… possible. You made it to the finish line, one of many” stated Dr. Parker.
The WSWHE BOCES High School Equivalency (HSE) Preparation Program offers students pathways to earn their high school equivalency diploma. Students learn at their own pace from as little as a few months to years. Study programs include in-person classes or via a hybrid method. Individual attention is given to students to prepare them for the GED exam. HSE helps encourage and motivate adult learners to obtain the education they need to take the exam and earn their diploma.