by Diane VanDyke
Montgomery County Community College held its Fall GED Graduation ceremony on Oct. 19 for 63 students who earned their General Education Diplomas at West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown.
The College’s Dean of Workforce Development and Continuing Education Suzanne Holloman congratulated the students on their GED achievement and encouraged them to continue their educational endeavors.
Holloman said since the program started in 2006, more than 600 students graduated, and the students’ pass rate on the first attempt is more than 85 percent. The Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board funds the program, which is free to applicants and is held at the College’s West Campus.
The College’s Vice President for Student Affairs and keynote speaker, Dr. Steady Moono, told the graduates that hard work and discipline will pay off in the long run, as it did in his life.
“Remember these rules of the road,” he said. “Always work hard, guard your integrity, be humble, take advantage of opportunities and stay focused on your goals.”
The GED graduate speaker Monica Olszyk, Phoenixville, spoke about her next goal of becoming a medical secretary now that she has her GED.
“My return to school at age 50 was precipitated by unemployment after working for 34 years,” she said. “I want to thank the Workforce Investment Board for offering the program at no cost. I would not have received my GED otherwise.”
WIB Chairman Harvey Portner, who has attended every GED ceremony since the program started, told the graduates, “Make sure you continue. Without continuing your education, you can’t go forward.”
GED Program Coordinator and Instructor Raymond Ricketts emphasized Portner’s advice.
“There are no more barriers for you,” he said. “Go to college. Don’t sit on your diploma.”
Several of the graduates are already working on the next step in their educational journeys. Kimberly Weigner, Norristown, recently enrolled at the College to earn her degree in restaurant management. Kheira Bouzid, Pottstown, is ready to start her first semester and hopes to enter the nursing program.