Grads encouraged to keep writing their story
It was a message of triumph, endurance, and hope for the future, as Chattahoochee Valley Community College General Education Diploma (GED) graduates listened to Dr. Brenda Coley, Superintendent of Russell County School District, give the address at their commencement this summer.
“I absolutely love this profound quote by actress Kerry Washington, and it is so befitting for today’s occasion,” Coley told the crowd. “‘You’re life is your story, and the adventure ahead of you is your journey to fulfill your own purpose and potential.’ I believe that the journey of a lifetime starts with the turning of a page. On this day, graduates, you have turned a page. Congratulations.”
A crowd of about 100 guests applauded in agreement. Amber Jackson is one of 45 graduates of the GED program. She is also the recipient of the Alabama Association for Public Continuing and Adult Education Pete Turnham Scholarship for District 7. Jackson is now pursuing Certified Nursing Assistant at CVCC.
“Her speech really resonated with me,” said Jackson. “It gave me great motivation to keep pushing forward and to not be ashamed of where I started. It’s about where I’m going and the accomplishments I make along the way. I’m excited about my future.”
Jackson attended GED classes at the Chuck Roberts Activity Center. It’s one of five CVCC GED class locations. In addition to GED classes, CVCC offers Alabama Non-Traditional High School Diploma Option, English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) preparation, and the Ready-to-Work Program, just to name a few.
“All of these programs fall under our Adult Education offerings,” said Laodecea Seay, Director of Adult Education. “We work to meet students where they are as they transition to the next level of their career path.”
Seay says she beams with pride every year as students achieve success, and she hopes the graduates take the commencement message to heart. In her speech, Coley “challenged” the group to do three things: to embrace their moment of graduation and own it, to tell their life stories to others in order to inspire, and to ‘keep writing’ their stories.
“You have the ability to control your destiny,” she said. “You can always edit a bad page, but you can’t edit a blank page. My challenge to you is to keep writing. Never give up. Keep dreaming. Keep believing. Your graduation today is not an ending, but a beginning.”
For more information about CVCC’s GED program or other adult education offerings, visit www.cv.eduor call 334-214-4849.