Vernon Regional Adult-Based Educational Program graduates 30th class

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon - posted Wed., Jun. 19, 2013
Jessica Perez and friend Edwin Ruiz prepare to graduate from the Vernon Regional Adult-Based Educational Program on June 13. Photos by Steve Smith.
Jessica Perez and friend Edwin Ruiz prepare to graduate from the Vernon Regional Adult-Based Educational Program on June 13. Photos by Steve Smith.

Thirty-five graduates were able to turn their tassels at the 30th commencement exercises for the Vernon Regional Adult-Based Education program, held at Rockville High School on June 13. The graduates were praised for their determination in the face of challenges on their way to receiving their diplomas.

Susan Pierson, the adult education consultant for the Connecticut Board of Education, said there are still challenges ahead. "It's a recognition of the journey that you've taken and the journey you have ahead," Pierson told the graduates.

Dr. Mary Conway said the VRABE graduation is special to her, because the adult graduates have worked hard to accomplish their goals.
"You truly know that you learn best when you do struggle, you do fail, and you do try again," Conway said, adding that the grads also know self-reliance, fortitude and self-determination.

"You can lay out the future any way you want, and you have what it takes to do what you set out to do," Conway said. "Please keep going."

"Tonight we see the building of a future," said VRABE Regional Director Dr. Carl Mandell. "Each of you has his or her own personal story for coming to our program. We are happy and fortunate that we are a stop on your road to personal success."

"Our future starts today," said student speaker Angela Dow, who became emotional while sharing her story. "Obtaining my high school diploma is my way of showing my children that education is the most important key to being successful in life."

Dow called the VRABE teachers and staff "beyond amazing." "They are caring, patient and truly care about you as an individual," she said.

Graduate Aidan Galvin said the program is better than the two other high schools he's attended. "I'd never been excited to go to school before," he said. "The teachers include everyone, and make it truly enjoyable to come and learn. The teachers are beyond knowledgable. Even if the question was a little off topic, they would go out of their way to find an answer."

Graduate student Angel Pedrazza also thanked VRABE staff as well as the Board of Education, and shared a thought with his fellow graduates. "I hope you are all thinking what I am thinking, in that education does not stop here," Pedrazza said. "Look out world, here we come."


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