High Roads Advantage holds awards ceremony

Robert Blackford/Editor

High Roads Advantage held their semi annual awards ceremony Dec. 18, the 29th ceremony for the program which has been active since 1999.

The goal of the program is to help students obtain a G.E.D. and improve their employability and life skills.

Students celebrated their achievements with a power point presentation.

LaCosta Myers, 18, was honored as the semester's GED recipient. She works at the Dollar General Store in Aledo. her goal is to get a good job, enroll in college, and lose weight.

Danny Anderson, 17, of Woodhull, received his OSHA certification. His goal is to earn his GED and eventually own his own tattoo parlor. He also wants to marry, have two kids and move to Georgia. Along with earning his OSHA certification he has improved four grade levels in language arts and seven grade levels in reading since joining High Roads Advantage.

Chance Lawson said his goal was to get his GED and get a job. He has increased his reading by four grade levels, math by two grade levels and language arts by four grade levels since arriving at High Roads Advantage.

Kathy Cooper, 19, of New Boston has a goal to earn her GED. She wants to be be a mechanic and find a place to live. She has improved one grade level in math, one in language arts, three in reading and two in mechanics.

Jodi Scott, the Regional Superintendent of Schools for Mercer, Warren, Knox and Henderson counties was the featured speaker for the event.

"Every time I come here you put me in tears," said Scott about following the graduates' tales of success.

Scott read a poem to the students which urged them not to give up, not to quit, "often your goals are nearer than you think. Success is failure turned inside out."

Scott talked about working her way through college. She noted that sometimes good people make bad choices. Scott asked the students to write their mistakes down on a piece of paper and then tear that paper into small pieces and throw them away.

"We don't have to let our mistakes define us," said Scott. "It's what we do with adversity that matters."

Scott went on, "It's about the way I feel about life. I feel lucky for what I have."

Scott defined perseverance for the students, “It's a persistent action over a long time despite problems or difficulty."

She advised the students, "You are well on your way to success. Don't feel like anything is out of your reach, but you have to put the work in."