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SBCC Celebrates Achievements of Adult High School/GED Graduates

Speaker Dr. Jack Friedlander applauds the students for persevering in pursuit of the educational milestone

Santa Barbara City College awarded 75 GEDs and 30 high school diplomas in a ceremony held Friday night on its oceanfront campus.

New adult high school graduates and GED recipients were encouraged to continue their pursuit for personal development and success by Dr. Jack Friedlander, executive vice president of SBCC.

“Knowledge and skills are the currency of the 21st century,” Friedlander said. “That’s something nobody can take away from you.”

Friedlander said that many people walking across the stage Friday faced great diversity on their way to reaching this milestone in their educational journeys.

Some students left school early to take care of sick family members, work full time to support their families, and raise children. Many students also faced language barriers that made achieving their academic goals even more difficult, according to Friedlander.

New high school graduate Yesenia Nunez left high school after getting pregnant at age 15 and again at 17.

“I would carry my first child to the bus stop while pregnant with the second just to go to school,” said Nunez, who, like many of her peers, will attend SBCC this fall.

While Friedlander said he applauded the students for their achievement, he reminded them that this is just the first step in a lifelong process.

“Society is changing so rapidly you can never stop learning,” Friedlander told the new graduates.

The ceremony carried a central theme of dreaming big and reaching for goals that may seem unobtainable at times.

A statement outlining each graduate and GED recipient‘s academic and professional goals for his or her future was read as the graduate walked across the stage to receive a diploma or certificate.

Many students said they dreamed of pursuing professions in fields such as law, medicine, education and business, while others stated a desire to attend trades schools or pursue careers.

Noozhawk intern Jordon Niedermeier can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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