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Diploma Dreams to Be Realized by Students in 2 CCC Programs This Week


Thousands of Camden County residents don’t have high school diplomas, but more than 150 of them will receive this coveted credential this week thanks to programs run by Camden County College.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, in Civic Hall on the Blackwood Campus, 110 graduates will be honored during a ceremony for CCC’s Adult Basic Skills/GED Program. Representing the class as student speakers are Brian Flagg, who dropped out of school in seventh grade after being placed in special needs classes but is now an accomplished photographer planning to enroll in art school, and Mary Dreggs, a 69-year-old great-grandmother who passed the GED exam earlier this month on her eighth try.

Counting the 2013 graduates, the program has produced 456 diploma recipients since 2007 – with one-third of them continuing their education at Camden County College. Also honored will be graduates of three other GED programs offered in Camden County, those sponsored by the Camden County One-Stop Resource Center, the Pennsauken School District and the Housing Authority of the City of Camden.

At 2 p.m. Thursday, June 27, in the Camden Conference Center on the Camden City Campus, 40 students will become the first graduates of CCC’s Gateway to College Program. This program offers high school dropouts from the City of Camden, all aged 16 to 20, a second chance to complete their diplomas while also participating in extracurricular activities and earning credits toward college degrees – all in a collegiate environment. CCC partners with the Camden City Public Schools District and the Gateway to College National Network, the latter of which includes 125 school districts and 43 colleges in 23 states, to offer this Gates Foundation-funded initiative.

The student speakers will be De’Shawn Brown, who has been selected by his classmates to attend this year’s Gateway to College National Peers Learning Conference, and Justine LaBoy. Recognized will be the winners of awards for Most Persistent Student, Most Helpful Student and Student with the Best Academic Performance. New Jersey Secretary of Education Rochelle Hendricks will deliver the keynote address, and city, county and state officials will attend this first-time event.

Transition to College, CCC’s countywide program that was modeled after Gateway to College to serve students beyond the City of Camden, held its first graduation ceremony on June 13. Six students received their high school diplomas during an event on the Blackwood Campus.

To cover either ceremony, for more information about the individual students named above or for details about the June 13 event, call CCC media relations manager Susan Coulby at (609) 605-0874.

Published: June 25, 2013