YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. -- BOCES celebrated its 143 graduates who earned their Adult Education diplomas Wednesday in Yorktown Heights.
“You will hear stories tonight that will leave you in awe,” said Dr. James Ryan, District Superintendent of Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES. “Congratulations on your accomplishments. Each one of you is a success story.”
The 143 graduates juggled work and parenting and some also with assimilating into a new country and learning English, to earn their diplomas.
“I had my first daughter at age sixteen, and all I could think of was providing for her,” said Brentani Blair, a Peekskill mother of two young daughters. “I wanted to go back to high school, but between caring for her and working full time it was difficult,” she said.
Blair was able to carve out a flexible schedule and was one of two graduate speakers and a recipient of the Doris A. Riendeau Academic Achievement Award.
“I want to go to nursing school. I’m ready,” said Blair. “I will achieve my dreams.”
Mira Hercegovina, a Slovakian immigrant now residing in Cross River, also spoke at the graduation.
“I came here with no knowledge of the English language. My journey began with a single phone call to the Adult Education program,” she said. “Now I have my diploma—and I am a naturalized citizen. Our diplomas will open doors for all of us. I am planning to study medical billing and coding. Who knows what the future holds after that?"