Adult Learning Center hosts Spring GED Graduation

York College Adult Learning Center (ALC) held its GED graduation and awards ceremony on Tuesday, highlighting the determination and strength of its graduates to accomplish their educational goals. Donning all black caps and gowns, 11 students gracefully entered the campus’ amphitheater for a bright and sunny spring ceremony with a crowd of family members and friends in full attendance. 

The keynote speaker, Najia Jahan, told the graduates that she was seated where they are today five years ago. Born and raised in Bangladesh, Ms. Jahan’s educational journey in the United States began at York College ALC. Although she had a high school diploma from her native country, she wasn’t accepted at a U.S. college without a U.S. high school diploma, she told the graduates.

After graduating from ALC, she studied at York College for two years before transferring to The Grove School of Engineering, City College of New York. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Her goal is to become a software engineer.  

Ms. Jahan told the graduates about feeling overwhelmed and fearful, asking others for advice, and staying steadfast in her dream.

“As they say, ‘Feel the fear but do it anyway.’ I’m stubborn when it comes to protecting my fears. So that’s what I did. I tried and gave 110 percent to learn everything I needed and do well in my classes,” Ms. Jahan said. “ I also pushed myself to do other productive work on campus, like joining and running clubs, going to workshops on and off-campus, doing internships and many more things.

“The other day, one of you asked me if college is hard. You have completed the hardest part, trust me. The fact that you took the initiative to stand back up and want to get your GED and standing here today proves that you have it all and what it takes to succeed in college or anywhere else you plan to go afterward,” she said.

Tuesday’s graduates who earned their General Equivalency Diploma were: Parves Ahmed, Carmen Thomas, Jerome Gayle, Doug Gentle, Sharon Graham, Kemwantie Kishun, Basmattie Mahadeo, Jenny Pokhan, Claudette Porter, Abdool Waheid and Reyna Yat Say. 

A total of 28 students received their GED high school diplomas and graduated this year.

Student recognition awards were also given to current students for academic achievement, passing with a score of 150 and above, passing one or more subjects, attendance, most improved, best effort, Good Samaritan and most dedicated.

York College Adult Learning Center offers foundational education and training, advisement and referral services to expand opportunities for adults seeking their GED than college or workplace placement.

Highlights of the ALC program include

  • June 6th Community & Job Fair-over 175 people attended (from the community and college).  Seven participants were hired on the spot. Of the seven, two were hired as security guards and five were hired as healthcare workers.  These individuals received certification as personal care assistants (PCA) through York’s IELCE Program.
  • York’s ABE/HSE Program had 28 participants who received their High School Equivalency Diplomas.  
  • Two ALC graduates, Ahmed Parves and Mondella Griffith, were recipients of the Peter Jennings Award. Mondella Griffith will be attending York College in September.
  • Kemwantie Kishaun, a 17-year-old, was ALC’s miracle student.  She is from a foreign country, speaks limited English, and due to her test scores she was placed in an ABE Class.  After three months in the course, she was referred for her GED Exam and passed all four components in one sitting.