Nearly 50 students were recognized recently during a ceremony held by the Paris Junior College Adult Education Department. The keynote speaker, Blake Moore, is a graduate himself of the Adult Education Program at PJC-Sulphur Springs Center.
Born and raised in Sulphur Springs, Moore obtained his GED certificate from the PJC program and now works full-time at an auto parts store while he majors in psychology, taking classes at the PJC-Sulphur Springs Center. He is a recent inductee into Phi Theta Kappa, the two-year college honor society, and is planning to transfer to Texas A&M University – Commerce this fall. Despite his busy schedule, he still returns to help tutor other GED students.
“Tonight I would like to say ‘congratulations’ to the GED recipients of 2017,” said Moore. “I remember this time last year. I was in the very seat you’re sitting in and I can still taste the nervousness I was feeling. I thought I had a plan of what I was going to do; I thought I knew what I was going to get a degree in; but I found my passion, my calling. Learn something new every day – knowledge is an ocean and don’t be afraid of the sharks.”
Moore related a story of a man seeking a guru to find the secret of success. The guru held the man’s head underwater until he was fighting to get free and take a breath. At last, the guru released him and said, “you wanted to know the secret of success. Remember a few minutes ago how badly you wanted to take that next breath of air? When you want success that badly, you will have it.”
“How badly do you want success?” Moore challenged the graduates.
Five students were inducted into the National Adult Education Honor Society. For this achievement, students must be nominated by an instructor and demonstrate the attributes of dependable attendance, cooperative attitude, and good work ethic. Inductees included Vickie DeVore, Clarissa Dial, Georgia McGregor, Esmeralda Sanchez, and Annie Shipman.
Receiving scholarships at the GED ceremony were DeVore, recipient of the United Way Scholarship for the graduate with the highest GPA, and Lazarus Meek, recipient of the Adult Education and Literacy Scholarship for most outstanding student in the program.
Those receiving their GED certifications, by town, included:
Brashear: Zachary Escobedo
Commerce: Jered Weimar and Diana Godsell
Cooper: Autumn Herndon
Cumby: Jenifer Young
Emory: Ryan Putnam
Pickton: Jonathan Barth and Ma. Guadalupe Ledesma
Sulphur Springs: Amber Baxley, Kaela Carter, Clarissa Dial, Dakota Donald, Lazarus Meek, Olympia Murillo, Arianna Patterson, Anna Scott, and Jesica Solis
Winnsboro: Rebecca Bryant