One graduate is a Glen Burnie mother of five and small business owner on her third attempt at the program. Another is a 60-year-old who left high school to enter the workforce. One person was learning the plumbing trade and found out he couldn't obtain his journeyman's license without a high school diploma. And one was encouraged by her current employer to get her diploma. Wanting to set a good example for her children, she completed the program in five months.
These are just four stories from the 40 graduates walking in the 2019 Anne Arundel County High School Diploma Student Recognition Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, in the Pascal Center for Performing Arts at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold. There are a total of 119 graduates this year.
This is the third year that AACC’s GED® graduates and AACPS’ National External Diploma Program graduates will share the stage.
Students earn their degrees through AACC’s School of Continuing Education and Workforce Development’s Adult Basic Skills Program or Anne Arundel County Public Schools’ National External Diploma Program (NEDP). Those passing the GED® exam or completing the NEDP earn a Maryland High School Diploma issued by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Many students graduating were enrolled in AACC’s Adult Basic Skills classes throughout the county, including the Ordnance Road Correctional Center.
“Some of our students face life challenges that can make staying in the program a struggle. When they earn their diploma, it is due to a lot of hard work and perseverance,” said Rena Burkowsky, basic skills assistant director at AACC. “When someone drops out of high school they think they’ve missed the opportunity to be a high school graduate. This ceremony gives them a second chance and allows them to celebrate with their family and friends.”
Including this year’s graduating class, 3,173 students have passed the GED® exam since July 1998 after attending classes with the assistance of AACC’s GED® Program.