Since 2021, JEVS Human Services’ Work Ready program has helped 88 individuals earn high school diplomas through its partnership with Penn Foster.
Now, the 2023 graduating class sets its own record with a graduation rate of 100%.
Graduates, staff, and loved ones gathered at the Duke & Duke Boardroom at 123 S. Broad St. to celebrate the accomplishment.
Overcoming Obstacles to Obtain a High School Diploma
Many of the 23 graduating students spoke about challenges they experienced as young adults that led them to leave high school. They also shared how they knew that getting a diploma was important to getting a job and taking care of their children and families.
One of the graduates and event speakers, Yanamea T., was also recognized for academic excellence. She admits, “When I first enrolled in Penn Foster, I was nervous, but I knew I needed to put my best foot forward and take a leap of faith.” In the program, she gained confidence in herself and made it her goal to graduate for herself and her kids.
She’s grateful for instructor Alberta Lloyd, who works with students through the program: “My instructor Ms. Alberta was there every step of the way encouraging and reminding me that this is part of my goal.”
She encourages her peers to remember “to keep moving forward and hold your head high. If the naysayers say you can’t do it, don’t listen to their negative words. We are living proof.”
Celebrating a Strong Foundation
Those in the room held back tears as the graduates exclaimed, “we started together, and we’re finishing together!”
They spoke about encouraging each other and not giving up. They also praised Ms. Alberta, who received an award for her dedication and commitment to helping people succeed in the program. She told the graduates to remember that “you can do anything because you have persevered.”
JEVS’ Work Ready Director of Learning and Strategy Mark Webb gave closing remarks and emphasized the significance of earning a high school diploma. He reminded the graduates that their diplomas give them the foundation to build on toward their biggest dreams.
Individuals who are interested in JEVS’ Work Ready program can learn more by clicking this link.