Students relish graduation after earning high school equivalency diplomas

Jun 27, 2016 by

Lennora Holmes knows a thing or two about adversity.

The 32-year-old said she grew up with “very little resources” after moving to Columbia at a young age with her five siblings and mother. She said she ran away at 16 and was homeless for stretches of her life.

After walking across the stage Saturday at Jesse Hall to commemorate earning her high school equivalency diploma, Holmes didn’t pause for a minute to celebrate the occasion.

“Oh yes, this is the best day of my life,” she said.

Holmes was among about 20 students who donned navy blue caps with gold tassels Saturday during a graduation ceremony held by Columbia Public Schools’ Adult Education and Literacy program. To graduate, students attended classes multiple times per week and then passed tests on five subject areas of the HiSET Exam, which replaced the GED test in 2015.

Many friends and family members attended, watching their relatives achieve a milestone toward improving their lives. Holmes said self-improvement and making her family proud were her main goals.

She couldn’t pinpoint the exact year, but Holmes said she remembers reading about Columbia Area Career Center’s Adult Learning Center in the newspaper. Holmes said she spent years working through the program and struggled at first, dropping in and out of classes. She finally passed the HiSET test in January.

Saturday marked the culmination of years of hard work, she said. “There was a lot of love and positivity in the air,” she said. “I wouldn’t trade this day for the world.”

Source: Students relish graduation after earning high school equivalency diplomas – Columbia Daily Tribune | Columbia Missouri: Education

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