YORKTOWN, N.Y. - For 93 adults seeking more opportunities by receiving a basic education or learning a second language, graduating from the Adult Education Program at Putnam Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Yorktown was a significant achievement.
"When I checked to see my results and it stated that I had been issued a diploma, it was one of the most important days of my life," said Dayona Hammonds, a high school dropout from Peekskill who spoke at commencement exercises.
It took Hammonds three tries to pass all sections of the GED exam but in April she hit pay dirt. During her journey, she gave birth to her first child and attended a substance abuse program.
Many of the students in the program, which serves individuals from many municipalities in Westchester and Putnam counties, come from other countries. Overall, BOCES Adult Education programs have approximately 3,700 students enrolled in them.
Alumni speaker Stephen Welles, who attended the program in the late 1970s, talked about his successful career in business and publishing.
"The successes in my life all started here at BOCES," Welles said. "This is just the beginning of your journey and your possibilities are endless."