New London Adult Education students share their journeys to graduation

New London – Two students spoke of two very distinct journeys that led to a shared destination Friday night at the New London Adult and Continuing Education’s graduation ceremony.

Featured speakers Shantay Green and Tyler Dent were among 67 graduates who received their high school diplomas through New London Adult Education, much to the delight of an enthusiastic throng of family and friends who brought colorful balloons and flowers and showered the graduates with cheers.

Green, who grew up in Louisiana and attended nine different schools before dropping out of high school in her sophomore year, moved to Connecticut in 2005 to start a new life. After a few years, she found her way to New London Adult Ed and for the next nine years was an on-again, off-again student. But all that changed two years ago.

“In 2013, I began taking my classes seriously and put all my effort toward achieving that goal,” she told the crowd of friends, family and school officials at the ceremony conducted in the New London High School auditorium. “I never gave up and am proud to say I finished this spring, and I am now training to be a CNA through the adult education I-BEST program.”

Green added: “I feel empowered by my education and I am proud to stand before you tonight and say, ‘I am a high school graduate.’”

Dent, who said he was simply not cut out for traditional education, admitted he had low expectations when he entered New London Adult Ed.

“I was prepared to endure another two years of boring curricula and hostile students,” he said. “But when you experience acceptance from both teachers and students who are willing to get to know you and respect you as a person, the amount you can learn together is astonishing.”

Dent added that he was leaving New London Adult Ed with more than a diploma: “I entered Adult Ed with only one more shot at making it through school, and I finished with an entire new group of people that I can now call family.”

2015 New London Adult Education Graduates:

Josefina Alvarez, Adam Taylor Amero, Vanessa Bien-Aimé, Liam Brennan, Melanie A. Bunnell, Labrina Lashay Carroll, Kairoli Castillo, Virginia Lynn Cicio, Markus A. Cintron, Kendria Lashay Clark, Angela Concepcion, Emily De La Rosa, Tyler David Dent, Katherine Diaz, Christopher J. Donnelly, Alexandra Maria Duran and Brian M. Encarnacion.

Also: Hannah Joan Flower, Tajiah Garrett, Edward P. Gay, Grisell Vanessa Gonzalez, Wanda Renee Grayer, Shantay R. Green, Jazzmine Hasson, Michael Henson Jr., Melissa Herrera Polanco, Christiana T. Hogsett, Ruba Idlbi, Haley Marian Lane, Jordan Alisha Langworthy.

2015 Montville High School Diploma Recipients (New London Adult Education):

Brandon Nicholas Baird, Jessica Lynn Chihocki, Brandon Michael Johnson, Lauren Grace Kutneski, Arieanna Melissa-Marie Ramos, Joseph A. Rodriquez, Kevin R. Wade, Britney Lipsett, Cheyenne Gabrielle Long, Rudibel Margarita Lopez, Dominique Marie Lucas, Chastity Monique Mateo, Tyler S. McCarthy, Garrick McQueen and Kevin Mendez.

Also: Muhammad Hassan Nizami, Iliana Pérez, James Polizzi, Kyle Lewis Pomerenke, Lucas Potter, Morgan Elizabeth Radicioni, Sherri Robinson, Abdiel Rafael Rodriguez, Mitchell Sandvoss, Dylan J. Schlais, Constantine Thomas Simones, Kendell Isaiah Dymetrius Smith, Patti Ann Stiff, Tyler James Talaba, Jesse Lee Thompson, Ann Tomporowski, Cheyenne Lynn Trabakoulos, Jacob Tanner Vargas, Rebequa Diana Vazquez, Javaughn A. Williams, Sydney C. Zeppieri and Chun Fang Zheng.

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