DOUGLAS — Cochise College honored 60 students at its 15th annual GED Graduate Recognition Ceremony held Thursday night on the Douglas Campus.
The event celebrates those who have passed the General Education Development test within the last year at Cochise College to achieve their high school equivalency credential.
“GED graduation is the most moving of all the graduations I’ve attended, and I’ve been to graduations at many levels,” said Cochise College Director of Adult Education Susan Morss. “The students here have that grit, and really deserve everything you’ve worked for.”
Three students were selected to speak at the event and share their stories of overcoming obstacles to receive their GEDs.
Alegria Curiel, originally from Ecuador and now living in Douglas, first attended adult education classes to learn English. She earned her GED in March with plans to continue her education and become a registered nurse. Catherine Fuller started her GED preparatory classes in Benson in January and passed all five parts of the GED test within three months. David Hohman was bedridden due to an injury during his junior year of high school. After months of rehabilitation, he tried online classes before finding Cochise College’s GED preparatory classes at the Sierra Vista Campus.
“We all have our story to tell of how we managed to make it,” Hohman said. “We’ve all had struggles, hard times, distractions and choices on our path to higher education. All of us share a common thought and choice we made: to continue on with something big in our lives.”
During the ceremony, the recipients of the Aida Estellean Wick Scholarship were also recognized. The scholarship awards up to six students transitioning from adult education to college classes funds to further their education. This year’s scholarships were awarded to Stephanie Aguilar, Martha Banuett, Maria Theresa Espinoza, Maricela Ruiz, Noemi Sogan and Claudia Velazquez.
The keynote speaker for the evening’s event was George Self, director of the Cochise College Virtual Campus. He reminded the graduates that no one has the power to control what happens to them in their lives, but they always have the ability to control their reaction to it.
“I thought about what I would want to tell this group of 60 young people, and one word came to mind: courage,” he said. “These are 60 of the most courageous people you’ll meet in your life. They went back to school, faced those old enemies: mathematics, history, writing. They endured tests, assignments and homework. And tonight, they have the courage to reap the rewards of all that work.”
2012-13 GED Graduates:
Amy L. Abril,Jesus Jaime Aguilar, James F. Anderson, Maria Angulo, Cynthia Arciniega,Layla Atchinson,Makayla Atchinson, Perla Aracelie Ballard, Zenia Ballard, Josefina Carolina Ballesteros,Tiara Barnes, Tuyen Brower, Erica Castro, John David Crowell, Alegria Curiel, Jordan A. Culver,Maria Nicole Durbin, Jeanne Dyer, Amber Erwin, Heri J. Fierro, Yassine Fouchal,Dinorah Fougere, Catherine A. Fuller, Marieana Goddard, Robert J. Hegedus, David H. Hohman III, Ayla Holland, Helen Holmes, Danielle Hoopes, Shay Hunt, Aliyah Jeffries, Leslie D. Jimenez,Johnny Lee Johnson, Yadira Esmeralda Leon, Javier I. Lopez, Miguel Daniel Luna,Andrea Macy, Jerry Mendez, Andrea Molinar, Manuel Perez, Jr., Diana Pedroza, Eliseo Quijada,Magdalena Ramos, Sergio Quijada Romero, Anajasmin Romero, Michael A. Schreiner,David James Simonton, Noemi Sogan, Karen Spencer, John A. Sproule, Kaelynn Stanwood,Billie Stellmon, Cyndi Lorraine Torres, Yesenia Vasquez-Ruiz, Yuliana Valdez, Brandon D. Vieth, Irma Villalobos and Aubrey Ward.