Obviously, those of us at Pickaway-Ross think that what we do is important.
But it’s great when the people we serve think so, too.
This month, several students who were in the first Adult Diploma Program class were invited to the state Board of Education’s meeting to be honored for completing the program.
The program is for people 22 and older who have never gotten a high school diploma or GED. Students earn a state-issued diploma while also getting technical training in a high-growth, high-demand field.
Mary Hay, who dropped out of high school and had tried earning her GED in the past, addressed those at the meeting.
Mary, 36, said that she never thought she had the drive to go back because, “I figured, who cares. Nobody needs that.”
But she realized that she did need it and after completing Pickaway-Ross’ program, Mary said she can’t even explain how good she feels about having her high school diploma.
“I am a state tested nursing assistant and I have a high school diploma that says ‘Mary Ann Hay!’ “
In addressing the board, she thanked them for supporting the program and its students.
“This program is the best program. All kinds of people can benefit from it. Thank you for giving us the chance when no one else would.”
Carrie Fife, director of Adult Education, is very pleased with how the program has gone this first year. Pickaway-Ross is the fiscal agent for the Southeast Region, which accounted for 48 percent of program completers. Of that group, 31 percent were from Pickaway-Ross.
Carrie said those numbers show just how valuable this program is.
“The high school diploma was truly a dream they felt had died because of life circumstances. With a new diploma and an industry credential, this is a new beginning for them. Many have already become employed, received promotions or enrolled in further education.”
Carrie said the next round of funding starts July 1 and Adult Education will be ready for new students.
Dennis Franks is superintendent at Pickaway-Ross Career & Technology Center. He can be reached at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal