Jun 10, 2010

Athens County graduates honored at ceremony

The Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) GED Graduation Ceremony for Athens County was a relatively small and quiet event, but the June 4 celebration was a monumental occasion that marked a major accomplishment in the lives of the graduates and their families.

Around 70 people earned their GEDs in the Athens County program during the 2009-2010 school year, and 11 of the graduates took part in the commencement ceremony inside the Chauncey Elementary School gymnasium. One of the graduates was Nekisha Singer, who gave one of the two main speeches during the event. Singer, who became emotional several times during her remarks, explained that she dropped out of high school after she became pregnant at the age of 16.
“I knew I had to grow up quickly,” she said. Singer was told several times when she was younger that she had a learning disability, and she explained that school was frustrating for her at times. She decided to go back to school in the last year to earn her GED for her family and for herself.

“To prove to myself that I am no different and that I can do whatever I put my mind to,” Singer said. She thanked ABLE teachers Scott Hatfield and Candy Byron for all of their assistance, and said she hopes they understand how big of an impact they have had on her life. She also thanked her family members and friends for their support.

“Thank you all for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself,” Singer said. She told the other graduates that they should be proud of their accomplishments and that they should also share their stories of the GED program with other people in the community.

“Inspire them to go back to school and realize their hopes and dreams,” said Singer. She will now continue her education at Columbus State Community College.
“I know that the sky is the limit for me and for all of my fellow graduates,” Singer said.

Graduate Alicia Hale also gave a few remarks, and explained that she decided to go back to school to earn her GED for one main reason.
“I did it for my three little boys,” Hale said. She thanked her family and friends, as well as the staff at The Work Station for their support, and said that she also plans to now go to college.

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