For some the goal was completing their high school credits to get a diploma, for others it was completing testing for the GED diploma.
Graduate Ruth Ben-Judah said she wanted to enroll in the program at REACH to make her goal of attending college possible.
Ben-Judah, a single mother of three, hopes to get a better job as a result. Ben-Judah plans to attend Cleveland State Community College, but has not decided on a major.
During her speech at the graduation ceremony, Ben-Judah told of the circumstances that brought her to this point.
Ben-Judah moved to Jeruselam when she was 14. Although she learned conversational Hebrew used in everyday life, Ben-Judah found school difficult and dropped out. Later she returned to the United States.
Family members in Cleveland encouraged Ben-Judah to move from her home in Georgia to live near them. Last year, she took their advice. Soon after, she began working on getting her GED diploma through classes at REACH.
Ben-Judah said she has been able to help her daughters with their homework because of classes she took.
Family, namely his almost 5-year-old son, was a deciding factor for Julian Hamby’s decision to continue his education.
“When I was a teenager, education was not a big deal to me. I didn’t realize then that I was going to be an example for my children. I couldn’t I tell them education was important when I didn’t even have my own,” Hamby said.
Hamby has already passed his first semester at Chattanooga State Community College, where he is majoring in industrial maintenance.
During his graduation speech, Hamby admitted it has always been easy for him to quit, but he has decided he will not give up on getting an education.
For Nicholas McDonald, a high school diploma will allow him to follow his family in their service to this country. McDonald said he enlisted in the Marine Corps because both his parents were Marines.
He said he needed the diploma to be accepted. McDonald also mentioned plans to attend college in the future.
Crystal Fuller also plans to attend college. Fuller wanted to get her diploma so she could enroll at ITT-Tech in Chatttanooga’s Criminal Justice program.
Brooke McNabb enrolled at REACH to complete her high school diploma.
In her graduation speech, Mcnabb said she was excited to be graduating , but was unsure what her next step would be. McNabb does what to persue missions work in some capacity, but is not sure if she will attend college first
During the seven years REACH Adult Education Center has existed, 179 adults have received state-certified high school diplomas and hundreds have received their GED diploma, according to district coordinator for alternative and adult education Zoe Renfro.
Renfro told Friday’s graduates Bradley County has many job opportunities available to them now that they have a diploma.