A CELEBRATION MARKS THE NEXT STEP
TO A NEW LIFE
To the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” and the cheers of family members and friends, nearly 75 students received their GED and high school completion certificates in a ceremony in the O’Connell gymnasium on June 21.
Students John Batchelder, Jeanne Flores, and Gale Boskofsky described the efforts that it had taken for them to earn their GEDs and what that accomplishment meant to them.
Left to right: GED recipients Jeanne Flores, Gale Boskofsky and John Batchelder were speakers at Clark College's 2008 GED and High School Diploma Completion Recognition Ceremony on June 21.
Batchelder told the crowd, “I can remember when the famous question, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ was asked. Most kids said fireman, policeman, or doctor. When it was my turn, I didn’t know what to say! In my mind I couldn’t ever be able to do what other kids could.” Batchelder added, “I am continuing my education at Clark to become a successful person….Now I am a happy person with a bright future. To me, a GED is huge and means the start of a new life.”
Flores described her struggle with drugs and time in prison. She started her GED studies at Clark in January 2007 and credits Clark’s teachers and staff for encouraging her during times when she “wanted to quit.” Now, she has received her GED and a Pell grant to take college-level classes at Clark.
Gale Boskofsky, who spent much of the last 20 years living in a small fishing village in Alaska, described the 2007 accident in which she “was thrown 20 feet from a four-wheeler….I was in a wheelchair for six months. It was a life changing experience because I could no longer do the work I had been doing. To survive, I needed a fresh start and wanted to set a good example for my daughter.” Boskofsky said she got the fresh start she needed through Clark’s Displaced Homemakers program. As a GED recipient, she wants to continue on to Clark’s nursing program with a focus on neonatal care.
During the ceremony, Gale Boskofsky (seen in the photo on the right) was named the recipient of the 2008 Pat Fencl Scholarship.
The $3,000 scholarship is given to a Clark College ABE/GED student who has attended classes regularly, demonstrated successful progression through those classes, and successfully passed all five GED tests with high scores.
Pat Fencl, a graduate of Clark College, worked for years in the Clark College ABE/GED program.
Michelle Pugh, a GED recipient who received the 2007 Joanne Kendall scholarship during last year’s GED & High School ceremony, will receive the scholarship again next year in support of her ongoing studies at Clark College. Joanne Kendall is a Clark College alum and long-time supporter.
Between September 1, 2007 and June 23, 2008, 1,032 men and women have taken GED tests at Clark College. Of those, 643 have successfully completed their tests; others are continuing their studies. (GED testing is conducted year-round.) In recent years, the college has averaged about 900 test applicants per year. That number has now risen to approximately 1,000.
Learn about other Clark highlights.