On June 17, the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) honored Community School program students who earned their High School Equivalency Certificates through a special program offered by SCOE.
The students who were honored at the recognition ceremony completed a special course offered through SCOE education programs at the following school sites: Boys & Girls Club LINKS Academy, Elinor L. Hickey Jr./Sr. High School, Gerber Jr./Sr. High School and North Area Community School. Of the 19 students who participated in the program, 12 are enrolled in community college courses for the fall.
"The door of opportunity is open."—Desiree Plater
"No matter what hardship you have faced in your life, anything is possible to achieve including a high school diploma, a college degree or any kind of accomplishment. The door of opportunity is open," student speaker Desiree Plater told the gathering.
Assisting Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon in awarding diplomas were Sacramento County Board of Education President Greg Geeting and Vice President Jacquelyn Levy. Assistant Superintendent Matt Perry; Director of Student Programs, Juvenile Court Schools Marc Nigel; CTE/ROP Teacher Canyon Twer; and Community School Principals Lisa Alcalá and Sharon Douglas also were on hand to honor the students.
"You all deserve recognition because you made an important decision and followed through with it," Superintendent Gordon told the students. "You realized having an education would help improve your employment and life opportunities. You did this for yourself and for your families and you deserve our admiration."
The California High School Equivalency Certificate is a document legally equivalent to a high school diploma for the purpose of employment. It is awarded to persons who pass the General Educational Development (GED) Test. The test assesses educational development in five subjects: reading, writing, math, science, and social studies.
Studies have shown that individuals with a high school diploma or equivalency realize a greater increase in annual earnings over non-high school grads, and that all U.S. employers consider individuals with the certificate the same as traditional graduates with regard to hiring, salary, and opportunity for advancement. In addition, according to the College Board, more than 90% of colleges and universities accept the high school equivalency certificate as equivalent to a traditional high school diploma.