(Bradenton, FL—June 22, 2017) “I’m living proof you can graduate,” said Kathleen Sierra. She and fellow graduation speaker Nicole Dotson spoke to over 100 graduates from Manatee Technical College adult education programs and a full house of family and friends.
Sierra, 26, came to the States from Honduras when she was in the ninth grade and quit school after the 10th grade despite pleading from her mother not to. She offered encouragement, “All these students here with me tonight, all with different stories—they did it! And you can too!” Sierra will be entering the MTC Accounting Operations program in the fall.
During the school year, 354 students passed the GED® test and 43 completed the highest level of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). GED graduates earn a State of Florida high school diploma.
“Everyone has different learning styles,” said Nicole Dotson. She credited MTC and her instructors for being able to graduate on time. “I have exceeded my own expectations.” Dotson plans to pursue a degree in psychology; she hopes to become a substance abuse counselor.
MTC assistant director Omar Edwards presented the class of 2017. There to congratulate the graduates were school board chair Charlie Kennedy and vice-chair John Colon, deputy superintendent Cynthia Saunders, adult, career and technical education executive director Doug Wagner, and MTC director Dr. Valerie Viands.