More than 60 recipients of newly-earned High School Equivalency (HSE) certificates were honored by the College of DuPage Adult Basic Education/General Education Development office at a ceremony held June 1. View photos from the event.
The College, which became a DuPage County HSE testing site in 1997, offers a range of services for adults earning their HSE certificate. These resources have helped thousands of adults complete their high school education.
Guest student speakers Erika Diaz and Chanbopha Loera shared highlights of their program experience.
Diaz, a single mother of four children, completed high school in Honduras before coming to the U.S. 20 years ago, but lacked the proper transcripts. Working 10 to 12 hours a day to support her children, she gained experience but was unable to move up professionally. Finally deciding to make a change, Diaz left her full-time job, taking a lower paying position that provided her the flexibility to return to school. She registered for COD’s High School Equivalency program and discovered the Integrated Career and Academic Preparation System (ICAPS) program, which enabled her to complete college coursework while she pursued High School Equivalency certificate.
“I really thought this moment was a million light years from happening,” she said. “I had tried twice before to get my GED but, due to personal commitments, I was unable to achieve this goal. It was a challenge, but I don’t regret any part of it because it taught me so much. I learned persistence, self-loyalty and gratefulness.”
Additional speakers included College of DuPage Interim President Dr. Brian Caputo; College of DuPage Board Chairman Frank Napolitano; College of DuPage Provost Mark Curtis-Chavez; Gail Kalinich, Senior Advisor to Illinois Congressman Sean Casten;and Darlene Ruscitti, DuPage County Regional Office of Education Superintendent.
Dr. Caputo encouraged graduates to be proud of their accomplishments and to use their achievements as a launching pad for future success.
“The renowned 20th century Irish poet, William Butler Yeats once said, ‘Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.’ For each of you, today marks a very significant step in your lives. Through the High School Equivalency program, you deepened your understanding of mathematics, the physical and life sciences, the social sciences, literature and the arts, as well as communication. What an outstanding foundation you have established for yourselves. From this foundation, you can begin to pursue your dreams,” he said.
Additionally, the ceremony honored students receiving scholarships to continue their college studies, including Mariela Alvarado, Ann Irene Caruso, Emily M. DeGenova, Araceli Dominski, Christopher Michael Dunn, Rebekah Susan Hardy, Ram Hmung, Joseph Huttner, Dina Knowles, Ingrid Maria Martin, Yiesel Perez, Lauren Porras, Noah Patrick Sanchez, Judd Santos, Sierra L. Sealey, Carisma Jade Sicilia, Amel Yilmaz and Piang Za Mung. Recognized as 2019 Outstanding Achievement Graduates were Hunter R. Akiyoshi, Armin Alam, Madeline Brown, Hufsa A. Feroz, Samuel Philip Sabio Howell, Elaine Mae Karch, Dan Dan Li, Jorge E. Rengifo, Maria Santiago, Sarah Sloka, Andrew Albert Webb, Jacob R. Webster and Brianna Inez Yarbrough.
Learn more about the College’s HSE program or call (630) 942-3697.