(Bradenton, FL—June 30, 2016) Manatee Technical College held its adult general education (AGE) graduation ceremony for the year on June 29, 2016, at Bayshore High School Auditorium. MTC graduated 101 students from its GED® and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) programs.
An additional 226 adults passed the GED during the school year and were invited to participate in the ceremony. MTC is the Official GED Testing Center for Manatee County.
A common theme among adult ed. students is overcoming all kinds of obstacles to achieve their dreams.
MTC student Amanda Alligood achieved her GED. She is a 37-year-old mother of three school-age boys. “I want them to know no matter what happens in life, it’s never too late,” she said. “I want to pursue a nursing degree, but to get in I needed a GED.” In addition to going to school, she works part-time, takes care of her fiance´’s grandparents, works on a local political campaign, and donates blood and platelets. She said, “Today I have the support to achieve my dreams.”
GED graduate, Aaron Williams, spoke to the audience without notes. He told his story of growing up on the streets of South Florida and going down the wrong path before his life turned around. “It’s possible to change,” he said. “I gave my life to God,” and the whole audience applauded. Today he is enrolled in postsecondary education to become a chef. He also ushers and mentors youth at his church. “I want people to know you can make mistakes and still have a future.”
Linda Agresta, who retired at the end of May as the assistant director for the AGE programs, announced the graduates. She choked back tears as she made her closing remarks. Agresta was in charge of the programs for the past 10 years. She expressed her gratitude to all those who supported her during that time.
Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene presented the diplomas. School Board member David Miner and Deputy Superintendent Cynthia Saunders congratulated each graduate as they walked across the stage.
Director Doug Wagner gave the welcome. Program supervisor Ellen Sage led the Pledge of Allegiance. Curriculum specialist Kelli Kennedy sang the national anthem.
MTC’s adult general education programs also include adult basic education, applied academics and citizenship. Omar Edwards has been named to step into the assistant director position on July 1.