80 students become graduates of Gulfport Job Corps Center - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

80 students become graduates of Gulfport Job Corps Center

About half of the students walked across the stage to receive their diplomas as proud family members and friends cheered them on. (Photo source: WLOX) About half of the students walked across the stage to receive their diplomas as proud family members and friends cheered them on. (Photo source: WLOX)
Eighty Gulfport Job Corps Center students graduated Friday. It's a day many thought they would never experience. (Photo source: WLOX) Eighty Gulfport Job Corps Center students graduated Friday. It's a day many thought they would never experience. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Eighty Gulfport Job Corps Center students graduated Friday. It's a day many thought they would never experience.

About half of the students walked across the stage to receive their diplomas as proud family members and friends cheered them on.

"My papaw almost cried, and he never cried in front of me," graduate Skylah Sumrall said. "I felt good. I feel like I made them real proud and everything, because a lot of people didn't think I would do good but I did."

Sumrall dropped out of high school, but instead of sitting at home, she decided to enroll in Gulfport Job Corps. She now has her high school diploma and is a certified nursing assistant.

Sumrall works at a nursing home and has big plans for her future.

"I'm going to go to school next August," Sumrall said. "I want to further my nursing. I don't want to just stop at CAN. I plan on going up to RN and maybe go further than that afterwards."

Laurence Lewis is another success story.

"They trained me to be an electrician by myself and be a person in life, and it helped out very good," Lewis said.

He is now a certified electrician and works at Keesler Air Force Base.

Another one of the graduates, Keshundra Lett, said she is not done walking across the stage. She has already enrolled at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College to further her education.

"I hope I have a good job working in the medical field, and you know, just helping other people," Lett said.

It's stories like those above that inspire the staff to do what they do.

"It's fantastic. As you can hear behind us, parents, family, everyone is excited, including our students. Our staff, we really like working with young people, so that's what it's all about. Getting them in a position where they can go out and make their own way,” said Gulfport Job Corps Center Director Alexander Alston.

Job Corps is free, and many of the students live on campus. To learn more about the Gulfport Job Corps click here: http://gulfport.jobcorps.gov/Home.aspx.

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