by Alana J. Mauger
Forty-six students earned their General Education Diplomas (GED) during Montgomery County Community College’s semi-annual graduation ceremony on Oct. 16 at the West Campus in Pottstown.
The graduates were part of the College’s rigorous five-week program that is among the most accelerated in the state. According to GED Program Coordinator /Instructor Raymond Ricketts, 828 students have completed the program since its inception in 2006 – an 84 percent graduation rate.
The Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) funds the program, which is free to Montgomery County residents. The fee for out-of-county students is $100 and includes the course and GED exam.
During the ceremony, MCCC alumnus and Alumni Hall of Fame inductee Scott Rau, Pottstown, provided the keynote address. He encouraged graduates to “make a commitment to self,” ask for help when needed, and give back, noting that “the most valuable resource you can give is your time.”
“You don’t have to stop. Everything is a milestone; everything is a step forward,” said Rau, who is senior vice president and director of mobile payments with Chase, and is also a member of the College’s Foundation Board of Directors.
Providing the student address, graduate Vanessa Perry, Pottstown, explained how a “fighting spirit” helped her to persist through the program in spite of obstacles that included her husband’s death.
“I’ve been trying to earn my GED since 2002,” shared Perry, who is already enrolled in MCCC classes this semester. “No matter what people say and what challenges come your way, only you can change your future.”
Marisol Lezcano, executive director of the Montgomery County WIB and deputy director of commerce, closed the ceremony by challenging graduates to “be daring” and go after their dreams.
“Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity,” she said.
To learn more about the GED program or GED testing services, visit mc3.edu/adm-fin-aid/ged.