Loud cheers filled the gym as the principal made the special announcement: "Corina H. is the first in her family to graduate." Corina beamed with pride as she was handed her GED and walked across the stage, smiling at her family in the crowd.
Moments like this are what make graduations at the Betty K. Marler Youth Services Center so special. Most of these young ladies arrive at the Center deficient in school credits and at-risk of academic failure. It is through their hard work and determination that these young women are able to overcome the many obstacles present in their lives. This afternoon was an example of how perseverance breeds success, as four students graduated receiving their high school diplomas and GED.
Other students were also honored at the ceremony, including program graduates and special achievement award winners. Program graduates are recognized for their successful completion of the program in its entirety and special achievements were honored for having outstanding performance in culinary arts, horticulture, technology, and athletics.
The Betty K. Marler Choir performed for stakeholders, family members, staff and fellow students who were in attendance, and caused us all to reflect on the amount of support and people who are truly dedicated to improving the lives of youth. We at Rite of Passage are proud to have this role for the last 30 years.