Courageous Adult Learners Earn High School Equivalency Diplomas
RALEIGH, N.C. (December 10, 2022) – Fifty-six courageous adult learners finished what they started and earned their high school equivalency diplomas today at Wake Tech.
Students in the Adult High School, High School Equivalency Preparation and High School Equivalency (HEP) programs were honored during a graduation ceremony at the college's Scott Northern Wake Campus.
Family and friends cheered proudly for the graduates who made the difficult decision to return to school and earn their high school credentials. The momentous accomplishment was not an easy road and required a lot of sacrifice for many graduates who are also raising and supporting families.
Student speakers Trichelle Chin-Hugh and Pedro Quezalcoateco Cleofas congratulated their fellow graduates and encouraged them to be lifelong learners.
Chin-Hugh said her path to high school graduation came to a halt at age 16, when she had to choose work over school. Twelve years later, she says she's proud and honored to be speaking to her fellow graduates.
"I could either finish high school and have nowhere to live or go to work full time and put a roof over my head," she said. "I dove headfirst into the workforce and have been working my way up ever since in a profession I love, but I have always regretted not graduating. I knew that not having my high school diploma was going to catch up to me one day."
Chin-Hugh was determined to finish what she started and completed nine courses while working 60 hours a week. "It took two years to finish, and there were a lot of late nights [and] early mornings, and sometimes I was so tired and sincerely wanted to give up," she said. "The support of my family, administrators, big-time perseverance and the opportunity to walk across this stage and finally get my diploma is what kept me going."
Wake Tech offers adult education programs year-round for students to finish a high school credential. The college also offers migrant and seasonal farm workers and their families the necessary training to obtain the high school equivalency credential through the HEP program, which is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Students complete their high school equivalency credentials when they pass official tests in key subject areas of reading, writing, math, science, reasoning through language arts and social studies. Tuition-waived preparatory courses are offered online, and students can work at their own pace.