70 Students Graduate from GED Program

Montgomery County Community College held its Fall GED Graduation ceremony on Oct. 13 for 70 students who earned their General Education Diplomas.

There was standing room only in the community room, where families and friends gathered to watch the graduates receive their framed diplomas during the evening ceremony at West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown.

Fall GED Graduates. Photo by John Welsh

The College offers a free GED Preparation Program in conjunction with the Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board (WIB).  Program candidates are recruited and screened by Pennsylvania Career Link and are then referred to the College for the program. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has certified the College as public GED location.

College President Dr. Karen A. Stout congratulated the students on their milestone achievement and encouraged them to continue their educational endeavors.

“This is a door opener for you,” Dr. Stout said. “My challenge for you is to make this your first door opener. Enroll here at Montgomery County Community College and get your associate’s degree. Then, get your bachelor’s degree.”

Dr. Stout said the College has one of the best GED programs in Pennsylvania, as demonstrated by the GED test results. Since the program started in May 2006, 487 students graduated, which is 85 percent of those who enrolled in the program.

The keynote speaker, District Justice Thomas Palladino, told the graduates that education prepares them for challenges and for new careers.

“Your education can never be taken away from you, no matter what happens,” he said. “Just as important is to keep your integrity, in the large issues and in the little things you do.”

District Justice Palladino is a graduate of St. Pius X High School and Temple University. He served in the U.S. Army from 1962-1964. He taught in the Pottstown School District from 1964-1989 and served as a West Pottsgrove Township Commissioner from 1981-1993. He was appointed District Justice in 1994.

GED graduate speaker Jessica Kirby. Photo by John Welsh

The GED graduate speaker Jessica Kirby said she realized how her lack of education impacted her daily life.

“This is a dream come true for me,” she said. “I will be continuing my education to get my degree in child psychology.”

WIB Chairman Harvey Portner, who has attended every GED ceremony since the program started, told the graduates, “Take advantage of what is out there and do so with integrity.”

The ceremony concluded with a solo by graduate Porsha Brown, who appropriately sang, Mariah Carey’s “Hero,” a song about inner strength and courage.

~ by Diane VanDyke

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