It took much longer than anticipated, due to no fault of their own, but today marks a very special milestone for 15 students “who were successful in receiving their high school diplomas last year”.

But due to COVID and all of the restrictions that go with it, there was no graduation ceremony held last year.

That changes today, when CARE Learning Centre will hold their annual gruaduation celebration once again, for the students who “have been anxiously waiting for this special day”.

A spokesperson said: “They will be recognized for their outstanding achievements after waiting a year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“CARE salutes the accomplishments of their GED students, in addition to the Professional Development programme students recognizing the completion of one of their newest online programmes Computer Essentials, Work Essentials and Testing Administrators.

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“This year’s celebration will highlight the success of 16-17-year-old students who passed their GED Test before the school leaving age of 18 and will be mentioned during the programme for their outstanding commitment to attending classes on a regular basis, additional studying, extra tutoring and a commitment to applying their academic skills and joining the GED virtual classes.”

CARE Learning Centre was founded by Dr Neletha Butterfield, MBE, JP, EdD on November 1, 1983.

Ms Butterfield continues to be involved in the administration and GED instruction.

“As a community we must embrace alternative ways of learning,” she said.

“This is evident as one of the graduates this year, will be receiving honours for obtaining a GED College Ready level in Reasoning through Language Arts, one of the subject areas of the GED Test.

“The college ready score means that the students have demonstrated skills to start college level courses.

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“Depending on the school or programme they apply to they will not have to take a placement test or any remedial non-credit courses in college, they will be college prepared.

“There will also be honour students in Mathematics and Science,” she added.

“We are very proud of their accomplishments and wish them all the best as they seek higher education.

“At the ceremony we will announce the recipient of the Special Recognition Award, the recipient of the Perseverance Award in memory of the late Lloyd ‘Stiff’ Burch – a graduate of the learning centre who was tragically killed in a road accident, the recipient of the Academic Achievement Award in memory of the late Graham Steede II – another graduate of the learning centre who was tragically killed in a road accident, Special Recognition Award in memory of the late Shayne Adderley who was also killed in a road accident.

“The Community Involvement Award this year will be presented to a former student and graduate of the Class of 2006, Dejon Simmons, who in 2004, overcame a life-changing accident.”

The ceremony begins at12:30pm today and CARE would like to thank those in the community for their support for approximately four decades.

This event highlights the positive roles that our young people and adults are achieving academically through alternative education.

Mr Aaron Denkins, a well known firefighter and football coach for Bermuda’s Women’s team and Dandytown, will give words of encouragement to the graduates and students.

At the end of the ceremony, board members and volunteers will be available to enroll students in the 2022/2023 school term.

Anyone interested in sponsoring a young person can email us at [email protected], or call the learning centre at 292-0915.

We ask for your continuous support andprayers during these uncertain and challenging times.