BRISTOL - The friends and family of 36 graduates filled the Bristol Adult Education Center last night to support the students upon receiving their diplomas.
Thirty of the students graduated with a General Equivalency Development. Three graduated from the high school credit diploma program and six others finished the national external diploma program.
Director Lawrence Covino began the ceremony by acknowledging class of 2017 and how regardless of their age or walks of life, they should be extremely proud of themselves.
“For many walking through that door was the hardest thing to do,” said Covino. “At whatever age, or for whatever reason you walked through these doors, it has to be recognized.”
Superintendent Ellen Solek then spoke to the graduates about how proud the administration is and how special the adult education graduation is.
“You walked through the doors here, and now you will be walking through another door to your future,” said Solek. “The center provides personalized learning that is tailored to each individual. If anything proves that, it is adult education and you all sit here today as a factor of that. We couldn’t be more proud.”
Melissa Beichner spoke to her class about her experience and time at the center, and explained that due to a medical condition when she was younger, her and her mother decided she would be home schooled.
“I faced difficulties when going back to school,” Beichner said to the crowd. “I worked with the adult education center to make it happen. The encouragement from the staff helped me realize what I wanted to do with my life.”
“If if wasn’t for the program and obtaining a GED, I wouldn’t be where I am,” she added. “Enrolling made a difference in my personal and professional life.”
Transitional Specialist Jacqui Strawson noted that the center accommodates any needs a student might have and it has led to many accomplishments for the students.
“Adult educations offers opportunities to grow in every part of life and supports the students through any obstacles and challenges they may face,” said Strawson. “Whether it’s homelessness or transportation, we will work with the student to ensure their future.”
“It’s all about understanding where the students are coming from,” added Mark Allen, retention specialist.
Covino explained to the crowd that the students who are completing the GED programs receive one from the state and the students in the high school credit program are finishing with a diploma from Bristol Adult Education High School.
Those who completed the national external program also received a diploma, but the educational program was centered on adults with experience and an interest in a specific job or area.
Pamela Brisson, director of teaching and learning, explained that it’s a unique way for students to develop a portfolio on their own and most of the time at home, but with help developing and perfecting it with an advisor at the center.
At the end of the ceremony, Lucinda Prigionieri, an employee at Liberty Bank, presented scholarships to Melissa Beichner, Rosa Martínez and Richard Morgan.
Adult Ed graduates
Students who received their GED
Students who received their CDP (credit diploma program)
Students who received their NEDP (national external diploma program)