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Region Nine students hard works pays off with graduation

Students earned their GED’s through the literacy and education programs
Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 7:30 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The Wichita Falls Region Nine Education Service Center graduates who earned their GED’s through the literacy and education programs finally got to walk across the stage.

Those graduates, their families and even teachers who have been a part of their educational journey beamed with pride as they watched their loved ones hard work paid off.

“I’m a drop out from high school and I want to show my kids that I can accomplish anything that I put my mind to. Regardless of what people have said about me in the past,” said Stacey Lingbeek student speaker and graduate of The Wichita Falls Region Nine Education Service Center.

On Saturday Region Nine had 18 students attending graduation. As they waited for their names to be called some even got emotional. After spending months taking courses all working towards the same goal, a chance at changing their lives.

“I actually just landed my dream job with First Step and eventually I want to be a crisis counselor. If it wasn’t for my teachers I wouldn’t have been able to further my education. They are there for you there’s resources and they work with you to accomplish your dreams,” said Lingbeek.

“A lot of times they have failed in the past or feel like they’ve failed in the past. So with this they’re able to complete something they started and wear their cap and gown down the aisle,” said Janis Heebner Coordinator Adult Literacy Education The Wichita Falls Region Nine Education Service Center.

Goals that were only accomplished through hard work ,the support of family friends and pillars in the community like News Channel Six evening anchor Ashley Fitzwater.

“The dictionary defines perseverance as the ability to keep doing something in spite of obstacles and that is each one of you,” said Fitzwater.

One of those obstacles was COVID-19. but students still pushed through to finish what had to be done.

“Last year we weren’t able to have a graduation ceremony. So this one was extra special they had to come to class in a masks and it was big learning curve. To try to learn through zoom with kids dogs and things in background. So its a real accomplishment for those students,” said Heebner.

This is just the beginning of the next chapter for most of these graduates. They say they hope to go on to take college classes. to further help their families and improve their lives.

To find out more information about The Wichita Falls Region Nine Education Service Center programs visit their website.

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