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More Than 100 Students Overcame Obstacles to Earn High School Diplomas Saturday

Howard Community College (HCC) honored more than 100 students Saturday for earning their Maryland high school diplomas over the past year as part of the college’s Adult Basic Skills program. The event marked the 30th annual recognition ceremony at HCC.

“Everyone has a story, no matter how old you are,” said Paula Jones, who was a featured student speaker. “The teachers made me feel safe so that I could share a personal side of myself. They understood me, worked with me, and helped me through the process of becoming a high school graduate in the U.S.”

Jones, a 46-year-old employee of the local school system, spoke about how completing the program will put her one step closer to achieving her goal of advancing in the custodial services department. She enrolled in HCC’s Adult Basic Skills program after reviewing the requirements of becoming a supervisor and learning that financial support was available from her employer. During the program, Jones, who holds a high school diploma from Trinidad and Tobago, balanced the demands of the program with her career, caring for her mother who had fallen ill, as well as her adolescent daughter, and overcoming personal challenges based on past learning experiences.

Jones was joined by speakers Sarah Lyon, a 17-year-old Jessup resident, and Naeisa Mohamed, an 18-year-old Laurel resident, who shared their diverse perspectives on how the Adult Basic Skills program has opened new doors to becoming a college student at HCC.

The ceremony also included greetings from Regina Clay from the Office of the Howard County Executive and Dr. Sharon Pierce, vice president of academic affairs, as well as welcome remarks form Patricia Keeton, acting associate vice president of continuing education and workforce development.

Howard Community College's Adult Basic Skills program is offered through the Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development, offering reading, writing, and math classes for students to earn their high school diploma or to brush up on skills for work or college. Two options for earning a high school diploma are available: the General Educational Development (GED) and the External Diploma Program (EDP).

For more information about the Adult Basic Skills program, call 443-518-4919.

Topics: Success Stories
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