85 GED Graduates Walk Across the Stage at Lewis and Clark

Article by: Louise Jett,

GODFREY – A total of 234 students earned their General Equivalency Diplomas (GEDs) through Lewis and Clark Community College’s Adult Education department and the Regional Office of Education Adult Learning Centers in 2013. 

Of those, 85 students walked across the stage of the Ann Whitney Olin Theatre inside Hatheway Cultural Center during the 37th annual GED Graduation held June 13

“We are seeing an increasing number of students passing their GEDs and an increasing number of those who pass are going to college,” said Associate Dean of Adult Education Val Harris. “We also saw an approximate 25 percent increase in graduation ceremony participation from last year to this year. It is exciting to see how our students are taking control of their own lives and, in the process, impacting the quality of our community and local economy.” 

State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer was the keynote speaker during the ceremony. Davidsmeyer, who serves the 100th District in Illinois House of Representatives, encouraged GED graduates to continue to reach goals and achieve milestones. 

“It was an honor to be part of the graduation,” Rep. Davidsmeyer said. “The excitement of the crowd got me excited about our future. I just wanted to encourage each graduate, and all who were there, to support their great achievement, always challenge themselves, take time to enjoy life and always be the best person they can be. Many of them didn't need to hear it from me. They were already living it by enrolling in college classes.”

Samantha Compas and Jimmy Parks, both L&C GED graduates, also shared words of encouragement at the graduation. Compas recently graduated from L&C with her associate degree, and Parks is currently enrolled in college courses at Lewis and Clark. 

“You are the hero of your own life’s quest,” Compas said to the graduates. “The further you go, the dragons get bigger, and the gates get stronger, but so do you. Eventually, if you keep fighting, your barriers will fall before you.”

“An education is something you earn that can never be taken from you,” Parks said during his speech to the graduates. “Congratulations.”

The GED Preparation Program at L&C helps students strengthen their reading, writing and math skills, while preparing them for the GED tests. Individuals 16 years old and older can enroll in the free basic skills classes, which are offered at various times and locations throughout the area. Those wanting more information can call (618) 468-4141.

L&C’s Adult Education Department will be hosting an informative “GED to College Fair” from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, July 18, in the Advanced Technology Center of Trimpe on Lewis and Clark’s Godfrey Campus. The Fair is free and open to the public and will give individuals a chance to explore enriched GED programs, which allow students to prepare for and take college courses in auto mechanics, emergency medical training, welding, health sciences, technical fields, highway construction and more, while earning their GEDs.