Since 2006, the General Education Diploma (GED) program at Montgomery County Community College has graduated 1,068 students, transforming their lives when they walked across the stage to receive their diplomas in the South Hall Community Room at West Campus in Pottstown.
For some, the diploma means the opportunity to obtain a better paying job. For others, like Abigail Prante of Collegeville, it is the first step on their educational journey.
“I plan to start classes here in the fall,” Prante said, following the ceremony. “I’m not sure what I want to do for a major, but I know I want to continue my education.”
A total of 59 students graduated on June 22 from the six-week intensive program sponsored by Montgomery County Workforce Development Board, Montco Works. Program Director Duane Sasek taught the classes, which are held both during the day and evening to accommodate students’ schedules. Of the 59 students, 51 are between the ages of 16 and 24 years, and several students plan to return to Montco in the fall for classes.
West Campus Vice President Dr. David DiMattio congratulated the graduates, comparing their GED experience to the steps outlined by Italian scholar St. Bonaventure in his journey of the mind philosophy.
“Ask yourselves, ‘where did I come from,’ ‘where am I going,’ and ‘how did I get here,’” he said. “Your journey doesn’t end here. Good luck as you continue.”
Similarly, the student speaker, Antonio Joseph III, told his fellow classmates during his speech, “Take life one step at a time. Believe in yourself and follow your dreams.”
The keynote speaker, MCCC’s Executive Director of Workforce Development Jim Fox, praised the graduates for accomplishing their goals.
“You demonstrated you have grit or you wouldn’t be here,” he said, encouraging them to continue to set new goals now and inviting them to consider MCCC’s workforce training programs to gain additional skills.
The GED graduates include: Charisse Andrews, Jodeci Andrews, Jordan Bankes, Keyshaun Beasley-Washington, Cheyenne Bell, Khalid Benbelkheir, Treavon Blackson, Christopher Bookheimer, Candace Borders, Carolyn Bright-Billups, Shirley Brobst, Ziarra Caballero, Jose Castillo-Evangelista, Tyler Clary, Daiyann Cooper, Erica Davis, Cesar Dominguez-Lopez, Rhianna Ewing, James H. Fahy IV, Dominique Fordham, Nicholas Forjohn, Kyle E. Gant, Miranda Granger, Tyron Hakim, Jayden D. Heckrote, Faith M. Heimbach, Gabrielle L. Hess, Melissa Kinsey, Jeffrey James, Antonio Joseph III, Jaya Kalathill, Alanna Michinock-Kimble, Kamaria Lee, Thadius Mahoney, Ariel Maslow, Marisa McMahon, Stephanie Mignona, Marissa Miller, Imani Mims, Ryan Morris, Corianne Moyer-Nelk, Caleb Moyo, Avondre Nascimento, Andrew O’Neill, Suki Osborne-McDermott, Hannah Platt, Abigail Prante, Devon Reidler, Jason Riccio, Nicholas Rimel, Jose Rojas, Jacob A. Ryan, Heather Shank, Derek Simmons, Amy Southwick, Tessa Rae Stover, Alanah Weber, Brett White and Alyssa Yelenoc.
Photo by Sandi Yanisko