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135 students receive GEDs during PRCC Adult Education graduation ceremony

Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 10:35 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Dozens of students received their graduate equivalency degrees from Pearl River Community College Tuesday night.

It was part of the first Adult Education commencement held at that school in two years.

For the ceremony, 135 students donned maroon caps and gowns and marched across the stage at the Lake Terrace Convention Center in Hattiesburg to begin new lives.

Some of the graduates weighed in on their decision to pursue a GED.

“Well, when I was in high school, I was alternative. I had bad grades, and then I dropped out,” said Dakari Sykes, a graduate from Bay St. Louis. “I said I wanted to get my high school diploma, so I came and got my GED.”

“[I] just wanted to be able to go to college and get a better job and get it out of the way,” said Trinity Coblentz, a graduate from Picayune.

These are just some of the students who’ve gotten their GED through the adult education program at PRCC in the last two years, and they were the first to participate in an in-person commencement ceremony since 2019.

“We were unable to have our ceremony last year due to COVID,” said Ruby Smith, director of Adult Education at PRCC. “So, we invited our graduates from last year and this year to walk tonight They didn’t finish school for whatever reason. Life just happened. So, they chose to correct that mistake or that choice they made and earn that high school equivalency diploma. We’re excited that they continue their journey and want to come back and see us.”

Smith says nearly 400 students have earned their GED from PRCC in the last two years.

The speaker for the event was Rachel Devaughn, deputy executive director for programs at the Mississippi Community College Board.

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