Summer ends with celebration

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 20, 2006

Usually students don’t get recognized for simply being there. However, the faculty at Alabama Southern held a celebration for students in the adult education program Thursday.

The purpose of the picnic under the awning in the SportsPlex was to award students in the Workforce Development Program with a certificate honoring their outstanding achievements thus far.

“This is actually something new this year and it kind of unifies all the students in the adult education program here,” director of the Demopolis campus Dr. Arthur Ogden said.

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“Tamika Dial, Roni Long, Janice [Burrell], Frederick [Lawson] and the all the adult education teachers here do such a great job building the relationships within the group. I am very excited to have both them and the program here.”

Although she in the middle of working toward a GED, Daisy McKnight was the given the award for Outstanding Student for the summer session for her commitment and dedication to her studies, and her willingness to go above and beyond what was expected.

“I want to go to college and pursue business management,” she said. “All my kids have finished school and now I am going to Alabama Southern to begin the business administration program.”

McKnight, a Demopolis resident, was given an ASCC book bag and a Bath and Body Works gift set.

Among other students in the program were Willo Raby, Aretha Gracie, Daisy McKnight, Youlando Johnson, and sisters Cherie and Rosa Zanders.

“This is a way to better ourselves and further our education,” Johnson, a nursing student, said.

Also in the school’s nursing program were the Zanders sisters who hope to become LPNs and move up the medical ladder.

“I was trying to be a CNA at Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital, but I didn’t have a GED,” Raby said. “I was motivated to pursue that career. Now, I am considering adult foster care.”

“All my children graduated and they were encouraging me to come,” Gracie said with a smile.

And even though most of the students have children his age, 15-year-old Reginald Watters said being in a classroom with adults didn’t make him uncomfortable.

“I am doing this to help me prepare for the graduation exam and this was very helpful to me,” the Demopolis High School sophomore said. “I am thinking about majoring in engineering or law and now I know what college is like.”

The staff would also like to extend a special thank you to Mark Pettus and the Demopolis Parks and Recreation staff for the use of the pavilion. They would also like to thank Sharon Rainey for her valuable contribution and help to make the day special and Daisy McKnight, for braving the heat and cooking a delightful lunch.

The Workforce Development Department is committed to providing Adult Education, GED testing, Placement testing, Start Right, Pre-employment training, ACT preparation, Alabama High School Exit Exam remediation, and on-site job training to the citizens of Marengo and surrounding counties.

The program is under the direction of Dean Angelis Smith who is located on the Alabama Southern Thomasville campus.

For more information call 287-0174.