Jun 8, 2011

Graduates honored for their achievements, discuss their plans for the future

The Athens County Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) Program honored its 2010-2011 graduates during a Friday, June 3 ceremony and also heard from three special speakers during the evening.

The ABLE program is coordinated by the Athens County Job and Family Services Work Station and has helped 67 area residents receive their GEDs in the last year. And by the time the school year concludes at the end of June, the program likely will have more than 70 graduates. Over the last several years, the program has averaged more than 70 graduates per year.

Each June, all of the graduates from the academic year are invited to a Graduation Program held at Chauncey Elementary School in their honor. The Work Station coordinates the event and always provides special music and a dinner for the graduates and their families. Sixteen of the graduates took part in this year’s event, and a crowd of around 100 was on hand to salute the graduates for all of their hard work.

“You all achieved a milestone,” said Joe McGowan, director of The Work Station, during the ceremony. “We are all very proud of you.”

The three main speakers for the day were three members of the graduating class, Fiona Mobbs, Virginia Moore and Carol Moder.

“I went to work one day and found out there was no more work and I was out of a job,” Mobbs explained during her remarks. Mobbs went to school in England, but did not have the type of degree she needed in America to get different jobs. After losing her last job and not being sure what to do next, she decided to go to The Work Station and to Tri-County Career Center to earn her GED.

“I got a lot of help from the employees at The Work Station. I could not have done it without them,” Mobbs said. She especially thanked Mike Garvin, McGowan and Candy Byron.

“She was amazing,” she said about Byron, who is a teacher. “They were all there for me whenever I needed them.” She is thankful for the help she received and excited about the doors that have opened up to her now that she has her GED.

“Now I have a great job,” Mobbs said. “I couldn’t be in a better place in my life.”

Moore explained that she dropped out of school when she was pregnant. It was hard to go back to school now after 13 years, but it was something that she wanted to do and felt like she had to do.

“It took me a long time to do this,” she said, adding that she greatly appreciated all of the support she received as she went through the program. “Thank you.”

Moore is the first of her mother’s four children to earn her GED, and she is now continuing her education at Hocking College, where she is studying nursing.

After the ceremony, Moore said that she decided to go back to school so that she could get a better paying job to provide for her family.

“In five years, I have to put my son through college,” she said. It took a lot of work to go back to school and receive her GED, and Moore said she was overcome with joy when she learned she had earned her GED.

“I just cried,” Moore said.

The comments from speaker Carol Moder and other graduates will be posted on this blog later in the week.

No comments: