Second chances: Adult Education celebrates GED graduation
“Do what it takes and don’t let others discourage you.”
This was the advice from District Judge Wallace Taylor during his key-note speech at the Estill County General Education Development (GED) graduation.
Thirty-eight of the 62 graduates walked across the stage at Estill County High School Friday night to receive their diplomas for passing the GED exam.
Mary Skipper, director of Estill County Adult Education, said it was one of the largest graduation ceremonies she has seen during her 10 years with the program.
“In the 10 years that I’ve been holding GED graduation, it’s gotten larger and larger,” Skipper said. “We just had a good group of graduates this year.”
Skipper said she estimates about 260 family members, friends and community supporters showed up to the ceremony Friday night.
“We really had a good crowd,” Skipper said. “Probably the largest crowd we’ve ever had.”
Taylor, whose son is also a graduate of the GED program, said he commends those who power through it.
“They expect us to go along to college and do these great things,” Taylor said. “What inspires me here tonight is you made a choice to come back. To me, that means more than mommy and daddy waking you up and making you get on a school bus.”
Taylor said he believes the program shows the program is the prime example of having a second chance.
“If at first you don’t succeed, brush yourself off and try again,” Taylor said.
Skipper said she hopes the graduates do not misinterpret the value of their diplomas because it will open up many doors for them in the future.
“Your diploma means a future without boundaries,” Skipper said. “Remember that you’re second to no one. Pursue your goals but keep your loved ones close.”
She also asked the graduates to remember their families and loved ones who helped them get to where they are now.
“Family support is very important,” Skipper said. “We have so many people here and without your support a lot of them probably wouldn’t be here right now.”
Skipper congratulated the local community for their support of the GED program. Fifty-two different businesses and organizations in the area help to sponsor the program for the 2011-2012 year.
“We had great tremendous help from the community here,” Skipper said. “The community here is just wonderful.”
She urges anyone interested in joining the GED program to do so before January 2014, which is when the test will become electronic and the price will go up to $120.
“Before the test changes in January 2014, we want everybody to take the GED while it’s still paper and pencil because it’s only $60,” Skipper said.
Lastly, Skipper congratulated the class on a job well-done and emphasized the importance of a high school diploma, not only for the graduates but future generations.
“Not only have you done it for yourselves, but you’ve done it for your family and the generations that will come after you,” said Skipper.