CCCC Adult High/GED awards almost 200 diplomas
Central Carolina Community College Adult High School graduate Bryan Reynolds (center) gets a congratulatory ... (more)
Saprina Smith (right), of Lee County, received her General Educational Development diploma at Central ... (more)
Jesse Poole (left), of Harnett County, celebrates her high school graduation with her husband, Tommy ... (more)
Gabriel White, 6, of Wake County, gives his cousin Megan Sanderford, of Chatham County, a congratulatory ... (more)
Robin Crim, of Chatham County, receives her Adult High School diploma from Central Carolina Community ... (more)
Robert Arellano (right), of Lee County, receives his Adult High School diploma from Central Carolina ... (more)
SANFORD - Bryan Reynolds should have been a member of the Class of 1998 at Rainier High School in Washington State.
Now, 11 years later - and a continent away from Washington, he has finally earned his high school diploma.
“I am so proud of my husband for getting his diploma,” said Indira Reynolds, as she gave him a kiss. “He is a good example for our son.”
Reynolds, of Lee County, was one of 190 adults who recently completed their studies for an Adult High School or General Educational Development diploma through Central Carolina Community College’s adult education program. About 90, clad in academic robes, proudly walked the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center stage June 18 to receive their diplomas at commencement exercises.
The crowd of family and friends at the exercises began to cheer for their graduates-to-be as soon as the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” sounded. The Class of 2009 walked into the hall, single file, heads up, and smiling.
The class received words of wisdom and encouragement from three of their own: Reynolds, Megan Sanderford of Chatham County, and Diana Ponce Cortez of Harnett County.
Ponce Cortez, a single mother of three children, worked a full-time job while earning her GED.
“Success comes with hard work,” she told the graduating class. “Let us use this opportunity to improve our lives and the lives of our families.”
Sanderford reminded her fellow graduates that the journey was not easy.
“It was long and difficult, but worth it in the end,” she said. “For all of you who gave education a second chance - congratulations.”
Sanderford, who received her AHS diploma, is enrolling at the college to earn an associate degree. She then plans to transfer to a four-year college or university and train to be a high school teacher.
“I want to help kids that have problems like I had not to make the mistakes I made,” she said.
Reynolds said that, for most of the graduating class, it had been a long, difficult journey coming back to school, meeting the challenges, and succeeding. He was laid off from his job in Research Triangle Park in September. He wanted to go into the Army, but it didn’t want him without a high school diploma. Now, diploma in hand, he’s excited about a future in the Army, with a goal of serving as a combat medic.
“You captured it, you earned it, and it can never be taken away from you,” he told the AHS/GED Class of 2009. Quoting George Bernard Shaw, he added, “All progress depends on unreasonable men because they shape the world to themselves. Be unreasonable - there’s always room for improvement. I thank Central Carolina Community College for providing an environment for our unreasonable minds. May good fortune follow you and God bless you always.”
Bobby Powell, chairman of the college’s board of trustees, presented $600 CCCC Foundation Board of Directors Scholarships to three students to continue their education at the college: Sanderford; Stephanie Blair Hardee of Harnett, and Molly Smith of Lee.
Then, the big moment everyone had been waiting for arrived. Row by row, the graduation class members came forward, walking across the stage to jubilant applause and cheering from their loved ones and the rest of the audience. College President Bud Marchant presented their diplomas as cameras clicked and flashed around the hall.
When all had received their diplomas, Powell instructed them to move the tassels on their graduation caps from the right side to the left, signaling the completion of the graduation. The audience rose in a standing ovation, cheering the new graduates as they proudly exited the ceremony for the Civic Center’s foyer. There, friends and families caught up with them for hugs and more photos of this special occasion.
Jesse Poole, of Harnett, received her Adult High School diploma. She’s not stopping now, but is going to enroll at the college and major in Early Childhood Education. Like many of the graduates, what she has accomplished has had a profound impact not only on her life, but the lives of others. For Poole, that includes her husband, Tommy Smith.
“I’m proud and glad for her,” Smith said. “She’s accomplished something she worked so hard for. She’s inspired me to go back to school. I’ll be enrolling next year.”
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