Some GED graduates pose with Assemblyman John Salka.

Nineteen adults earned their high school equivalency diplomas and one student received her United States citizenship with help of the Madison County Reads Ahead program. Eight students attended the graduation ceremony held at the Sullivan Free Library recently where guest speaker Assemblyman John Salka, District 121 and a Brookfield resident, addressed those in attendance.

“I got my GED … I think I worked harder on that than I ever did in high school,” he commented. Salka went on to become licensed in radio and tv repair, later earning a degree in respiratory therapy. He served as town supervisor for 11 years.

A quote in the event’s program by Tory Burch stated, “We may live in an age of instant messaging, instant gratification and Instagram, but there is no way to short-circuit the path to success.”

Salka echoed this sentiment. “I am so proud to be here today as a kid who quit high school and later became a New York State assemblyman. It shows you that success it right down the road as long as you keep trying,” he stated. Salka said he ran for state assembly three times before being elected.

MCRA is a unique program providing a valuable service to residents of Madison County, said Tara Truett, director. “Tutors work with learners at the rate and the pace each individual needs,” she said.

MCRA is a free program where adults can obtain their high school equivalency or help with English for speakers of other languages (ESOL). Volunteer tutors meet one-on-one with clients at their local library at times that are convenience to the students. Partner libraries generously provide space for the pairs to meet.

Truett noted that new laws make it even easier for many to obtain their high school equivalency diploma. School records showing successfully taking regents courses now can shorten the process and cut down on the number of tests required to reach a diploma, she said. In some cases, participants only need to take one test in a subject area of their choice.

This year’s graduates are: Barbara Alesci, Nathan Barrow, Crysta Carlucci, Alyssa Crandall, Joseph DeJohn, Nicholas Derracq, Leann Drummon, Christopher Eaton, Kaleb Fraser, Kelsey Harden, Sebastian Lum, Cynthia Pickard, Zachary Schenck, Margaret Stein, Miranda Vann, Kelly Ventura, Allison Williams, Ashleigh Williamson, Brandon Workman. Martha Altwal obtained U.S. citizenship.

For more information about Madison County Reads Ahead, contact Tara Truett at (315) 345-1468.

By martha

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