SANFORD — Smiling with success, members of Central Carolina Community College’s Adult High School/GED spring 2010 graduating class walked proudly across the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center stage June 17.
Friends and family cheered, applauded and snapped photographs as their graduate’s name was called. The graduating students ranged in age from teenagers to white-haired. They brought a wide variety of educational and workforce backgrounds to their pursuit of education. All had one thing in common: They had achieved their personal goals of earning their high school or General Educational Development (GED) diplomas.
“We are so proud of you,” Stelfanie Williams, the college’s vice president of Economic and Community Development, told the graduating class. “We hope you continue with your education. The doors of Central Carolina Community College are always open for you.”
About 185 students completed their AHS or GED studies during the spring semester. The three student commencement speakers represented each of the counties the college serves: Bruce Graham, of Chatham County; Brenda Dominguez, of Harnett County; and Donald Alexander, of Lee County.
Graham said that, in ninth grade, he “got too smart for myself.” He dropped out of school, telling his parents he would go to night school and join the Army. He did neither. He eventually found a job, got married and had a family. Then, in 2009, he was laid off. With no education and no job, he and his wife decided it was time for him to go back to school.
“I did not realize how much I needed to learn,” he told his fellow graduates and the audience. “It took 16 months, but I passed my final GED test in May.”
Now Graham plans to continue at Central Carolina C.C., training to be an automotive mechanic.
“To you who have not finished high school, it’s not too late to start,” he said. “It will lead you to a new career and a better life.”
Dominguez expressed her gratitude for having another chance to earn her diploma.
“Nothing beats a failure but a try,” she told the graduates, who shared her experience of trying and continuing to try until they achieved their goal. “Trust God, put him first and he will guide your path.”
Alexander spoke of the graduation as a “great accomplishment” for the students and those who supported them. He urged both the graduates and those in the audience to continue to set goals and work to achieve them.
Four students received scholarships to continue their education. The CCCC Foundation awarded scholarships to Graham; Christopher Froat, of Harnett County; and Ana Dominguez, of Lee County. Terence Brooks, of Lee County, received the W.B. Wicker Scholarship. Each member of the graduating class received a voucher that would pay for one curriculum class at the college, encouraging them to continue their education.
Graduating students who achieved at least a 94 grade point average in Adult High School or a score of at least 3000 on their GED examinations were recognized: Demetrix Allen, Danielle Baumgartner, Rebecca Cameron, Cody Carbonell, Jasmine Corletto, Amanda Crawford, Christian Del Ciotto, Cynthia Donegan, Justin Fawcett, Christopher Froat, Karon Griffin, Justin Johnston, Gabrielle Klein, Ashley Perry, Larry Propps, Ben Raynor, Pablo Sanchez, Deven Turner, Marvin Velez, Samuel Weinburg, Evan Whitaker, and Frederick Wolfe II.
Adult High School/GED students also have the opportunity to earn a North Carolina Career Readiness Certificate. This certificate, based on assessments, certifies to potential employers the skill levels achieved by the student in reading, math, and information location. The graduates who earned this certificate were: John Barefoot, Korrin Denson, Christopher Froat, Anjelica Holguin, Ryan Kendall, and Daryl Meadows.
Evangeline Smith, Adult Education coordinator, noted that the Lee County members of the spring 2010 class would be the last to graduate from the college’s Adult Education programs at the Jonesboro Center, where the classes had been held since 1999. Those programs were recently relocated to the college’s Lifelong Learning Center at W.B. Wicker.
For more information about adult education at Central Carolina Community College, visit the college’s web site, www.cccc.edu
, or call (919) 742-2715, ext. 23, or (919) 545-8028 in Chatham County; (910) 814-1123 in Harnett County; or (919) 776-7323 in Lee County. For information in Spanish, call (919) 777-7708.