Forty-eight students have received their GED® diplomas through Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Youth Success Academy (YSA).

GNTC hosted two Youth Success Academy graduation ceremonies. Eighteen students graduated on Tuesday, May 21, from the YSA program at GNTC’s Floyd County Campus (FCC) in Rome. Thirty students graduated on Thursday, May 23, from the YSA program at the Walker County Campus (WCC) in Rock Spring; the ceremony was held at Peavine Baptist Church in Rock Spring.

Erick Hopper, lead instructor for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Services at GNTC, served as commencement speaker at the Floyd County Campus graduation ceremony. Lindsay Hardin, GNTC WIOA Youth Services instructor aide at GNTC, presented the graduates, and Hopper and Kristen Sheeley, GNTC WIOA Youth Services instructor at GNTC, awarded diplomas.

“At times, networking and building relationships can be more important and take you further than academics,” Hopper said. “The small conversations that you have in daily life with random people might turn into something special and might even be your next job interview. Don’t forget that relationships and how you treat people are the key to life.”

Following a welcome by GNTC WIOA Youth Specialist Tammy Pence at the ceremony for the Walker County Campus program, WIOA Youth Services Coordinator Vince Stalling encouraged the graduates to believe in themselves and know their strengths. He urged them to exercise discipline and work towards perfection in everything they do.

Alexia Cami Towns was student speaker at the ceremony for the Walker County Campus program.

“I did struggle with studying for my GED® diploma. I had good and bad days,” Towns said. “Some days I didn’t want to get out of bed, and other days I was too tired to go to class.”

Towns said she recalls the bad days to remind herself to keep pushing and going forward.

“Sometimes you have to remind yourself that it’s a bad day, not a bad life,” Towns said. “You can be sad and down sometimes; you just can’t stay down all the time.”

WIOAYouth Services instructional aide LaRae Eveans presented the graduates; Stalling and GNTC WIOA Youth Services Instructor Kimberly Arrowood awarded diplomas.

Jaydah Alexander, Addyson Earwood, Samantha Easterwood, Cavan Lacey, James Lary, Evan Miller, Candarious Mundy, Gabriel Roach, Benito Rubino, Diana Sanchez, Summer Snow, Zoey Southwick, Jasmin Valle, Noah Vonbehren, James Ward, Allison West, Jasmine West and Ava Williams graduated from the Floyd County Campus program. Not all graduates participated in the YSA Graduation Ceremony.

Jeffrey Shawn Asher, Jesse Benson, Cameron Blankenship, Johnathan Bloom, Tikita Brenner, Brandon Brown, Naomi Brown, Emma Bryant, Kaleb Burris, Camron Cavanaugh, Chloe Cobb, Brook Frizzelle, Zackery Geesey, Kesley Hawkins, Austin Henegar, Teresa Laurel Hix, Asher Huffman, Jasmine Johnson, Christina Kulick, Jeremiah Mabry, Caden Mashburn, Braleah Pace, Emily Phillips, Annica Santillano, Leah Schrader, Krista Robin Smith, Ashton Snider, Alexia Cami Towns, Brianna Tucker and Cheyenne Womble graduated from the Walker County Campus program. Not all graduates participated in the YSA Graduation Ceremony.

YSA, sponsored through a partnership with GNTC and Northwest Georgia Regional Development Center, is specifically designed for out-of-school youth who wish to attain a GED® diploma and a technical education.

Students in the program prepare for the GED® exam and participate in job readiness trainings, as well as workshops and leadership activities.

The Youth Success Academy offers several programs including GED® diploma testing. The academy assists adults up to the age of 24 with college expenses, help with college enrollment and assistance in gaining experience in different career fields.

For more information, contact the Floyd County Campus YSA at 706-295-6940 and the Walker County Campus YSA at 706-764-3783.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma or a certificate in aviation, business, health, industrial or public service career paths.

This past year, 11,601 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. GNTC has an annual credit enrollment of 8,071 students and an additional enrollment of 3,530 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training and Georgia Quick Start. For more information about GNTC, visit us at GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

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