Fourteen students earned their high school diplomas this spring through Project Encore.
To celebrate those achievements, a 2012 graduation was held Thursday at the Butler Community College Hubbard Welcome Center.
"We are very excited to be here tonight honoring our graduates," said instructor Joani Purdy.
She acknowledged all of the hard work and dedication it took to get their diplomas.
She also took time to recognize all of the teachers.
"Don't let this be the end of your learning," she told the students.
She talked about her story of earning her high school degree, then going on for her bachelor's and even master's degrees.
"Education has allowed me to pursue a lifelong dream of witnessing things like this," Purdy said. "You realize all of your hard work and sacrifices have paid off.
"Every opportunity you have to educate yourself will open other doors for you."
The students all received certifications of completion, their diploma and a scholarship to give to someone they know who needs a high school diploma who is over 18 to attend free next year.
The teachers from the various locations each presented the diplomas.
Michele Land, El Dorado instructor, told the students they were an inspiration.
"All of you have traveled a different path and overcome obstacles to get here," she said. "I am very inspired and proud of all of you."
She presented diplomas to El Dorado graduates Callie Ogle and Stephen Voyles, earning diplomas from El Dorado High School.
Ric Stamper, Andover instructor, was with the program for the first year.
"This class I will always hold near and dear in my heart," he said.
He created an Andover Adult Program Hall of Fame on the wall behind his desk. He said this class will be the first to have their pictures on the wall.
He presented diplomas to Colton Neal, Andover High School; Jacquelyn Borquez, EHS; and Martin Borquez, EHS.
Joyce Ubben, Andover teacher, also presented diplomas to Dillan East and Quinn Kenyon, both receiving degrees from AHS.
The final diploma was presented by Terri Hood, virtual instructor.
"We have had the most awesome jobs ever," she said. "Many time they come to us knowing they should have a diploma but not why they should have a diploma," she said.
She presented a diploma to Ashley Berry, who received a diploma from Andover Central High School.
"I wish each of you the best of luck in the future with your academic and professional development," Purdy said, concluding the ceremony.
Family and friends joined the graduates for refreshments following the ceremony.
Others receiving diplomas who were not present and their respective schools include: Angela Cook-Hopkins, ACHS; Peter Ithongo, James McClendon and Jacob Pappan, EHS; Ryan Tillison, Rose Hill High School; and Chris White, AHS.
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