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Care Center salutes accomplishments of 20 new grads

Date: 7/3/2013

By G. Michael Dobbs

HOLYOKE — Care Center Executive Director Anne Teschner told the 20 graduates of the program that they have changed the course of their lives by earning their GED.

Families and friends gathered in the Music Room of the Wistariahurst Museum on June 28 to witness the graduation.

This year the graduates of the program were Kimberly Chambers, Elizabeth Cintron, Sarah Dearborn Clark, Carrisa Collette (valedictorian), Priscilla Colon, Jennice Mary Curet, Dennise Diaz, Amanda Desrochers, Rebecca Harris (salutatorian), Norma Marin, Shanee Medina, Alyssa O'Malley, Justine Melendez, Kimberly Pagan, Emily Perusse, Adela Reyes, Cheril Rosario, Dalisa Saldaña, Tamara Smith and Mariah Thomas.

The Care Center provides academic classes in preparation for the GED and college prep, on-site daycare, counseling, assistance with the transition to higher education, and door-to-door transportation.

Teschner said to the graduates they have exercised "the gift of choice."

"You are the queen of your destiny," Teschner added.

She thanked the support of faculty and the families and friends of the students and noted, "Many, many hearts and souls are involved in making this happen."

She pointed out the students wearing a gold cord on their gowns indicated they have started attending college.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse said, "This is one of the most meaningful graduations I go to every year."

He said his own mother was a teen mother and described how she cared for her children while studying to be a nurse.

Diana Fernández, chief diversity officer at Hampshire College, provided the commencement address said that before participating in the program the students may have believed with world was "restricted."