Wallace State’s Adult Education Department hosts 2022 commencement; CCDW completers recognized in dual ceremony | #education | #technology | #training


Wallace State had 77 individuals earn their GEDs or the high school diploma option during the 2021-2022 academic year. (Photos courtesy of WSCC)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Wallace State Community College’s Adult Education Department hosted its 2022 Graduation this week, recognizing students who earned their GED (general education development) or high school diploma during the 2021-2022 academic year.

In conjunction, Wallace State’s Adult Education and the Center for Career and Workforce Development also recognized completers from the short-term workforce training program.

All graduates were honored at Wallace State’s Traditions Bank Arena inside Tom Drake Coliseum.

“We are overjoyed to be able to celebrate your achievements. While each of you may have traveled a different path to be here tonight, your accomplishments are great and Wallace State is honored to have been a part of your journey,” said Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics to both set of graduates. “Some of you are determined, some of you are tenacious and all of you demonstrate perseverance. I’m so proud of all of you.”

Wallace State had 77 individuals earn their GEDs or the high school diploma option during the academic year. 

“Life happens. It’s important you didn’t give up. You held onto that dream that was deferred,” said Karolewics to the Adult Education graduates.

Added new Wallace State Adult Education Director Patti Wilkins, “There are so many stories that you hear from these graduates. They have overcome personal battles in life and when you see them walk in and walk across the stage, it brings tears to your eyes. They have persisted against many odds.”

Kali Rogers and Heather McLeod both completed the Adult Education program through outreach from Wallace State at the Alabama Teen Challenge, a faith-based provider helping young people and adults through life’s challenges.

“Earning my GED is a weight off my shoulders, and something I didn’t think was possible at times,” said Rogers.

McLeod earned a high school diploma option scholarship through the Wallace State Future Foundation.

“This is such a joyous occasion. I’m thankful for the Wallace State Adult Education program, and the opportunities it provides,” McLeod said.

Ashlie Golden, of Albertville, was awarded a Wallace State scholarship, covering 16 credit hours each semester for two years. 

“It’s very special to earn the scholarship. I dropped out of high school around 10th grade because of a bad series of events, including bullying. I tried other avenues to finish high school and they didn’t work. My boyfriend encouraged me to enroll in Wallace State’s Adult Education program, and now I’m on the path to pursuing Forensic Investigation here,” Golden said.

Ryan Jordan was the event’s guest speaker before earning his GED and a Wallace State Future Foundation scholarship. Jordan entered the Adult Education program in 2021 as an Ability to Benefit student, which allowed him to complete his GED while taking welding classes simultaneously. The program mirrors a dual enrollment path.

Other scholarship recipients were Kara Davis and Lexy Gibson (Hope House), Deiona Endaz (Career Technology), Amanda Harder (WSCC), Daniel Campbell (Oden Family) and Jonathan Talley and Kira Watts (WSCC Future Foundation).

Deiona Endaz, left, is presented a Career Technology scholarship from Wallace State Dean of Applied Technologies Wes Rakestraw. (Photos courtesy of WSCC)

Wallace State’s Adult Education’s instructors and staff serve hundreds of students each year, spanning multiple sites across Blount, Cullman, Morgan and Winston Counties and on both Wallace State campuses. The program also offers free ESL classes and career pathways certifications.

Wallace State’s Adult Education and the Center for Career and Workforce Development began offering short-term training earlier this year, and those program finishers were recognized in areas like diesel technology, phlebotomy and automation technician, among others. 

Wallace State had 63 individuals complete the first round of training. Among those recognized was the father/son duo of J.T and Paul Barbee who completed training together and are now working for Love’s Truck Stop in Falkville as technicians.

Paul Barbee and his son, J.T., have both earned jobs working at Love’s Truck Stop in Falkville as technicians after completing training at Wallace State. (Photos courtesy of WSCC)

“It ignites a fire in me when I see individuals set a goal and reach it. Every single one of you have done that and being able to celebrate your accomplishments is what it’s all about,” said Jamie Blackmon, the director of Wallace State’s Center for Career and Workforce Development.

View the photo gallery at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wallacestate/albums/72177720299062854.

For more information about Wallace State’s Adult Education program, call 256-352-8078, email Jennifer.lambert@wallacestate.edu or visit https://www.wallacestate.edu/programs/adult-education.

For more information about the Center for Career and Workforce Development, contact Ashley Baker at 256-352-8386 or by email at Ashley.baker@wallacestate.edu



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