For the Press
GED Graduation 2012
BOSTON, Mass.- United South End Settlements (USES) hosted the 2012 General Educational Development (GED) Graduation Ceremony and Awarding of High School Equivalency Achievement Certificates to 23 students at the Harriet Tubman House on Thursday, June 28, 2012.
The event featured great company and a dinner as the community came together to celebrate and support a successful group of people taking the next step in their academic career. It was with great pleasure that USES was able to present a group of leaders, who have worked more than 20 hours a week towards furthering their academic and personal development.
USES has been a provider of quality Adult Basic Education and GED programming in Boston for almost 30 years, providing more than 160 students annually with opportunities to develop reading, writing, math, social studies, science and technology skills needed to qualify for further education, job training and better employment. The organization’s success in this area was reaffirmed when it recently was awarded a five-year, $385,000 per year contract from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The new contract represents a 41% increase in funding for USES, and will position the organization to expand the programs and services needed for students seeking basic education, GEDs, and postsecondary degrees. A new English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) component will begin at USES this fall as a result of this contract.
USES’ President & CEO, Kevin Hepner, addressed the graduates enthusiastically. “You have learned the skills necessary to succeed and progress in all stages of life,” he said. “Believe in your abilities and believe in yourself. Take each step in stride and go confidently, be all that you can be and show the world just how amazing each and every one of you are!”' 'Charles Desmond, Ed.D., Chairman of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, spoke eloquently regarding the need to continue the pursuit of education. “Take pride in what you have achieved. I hope that each one of you who has now completed this program will consider going to one of our public colleges or universities to get your Bachelor’s Degree. And after you get your Bachelor’s Degree, I want you to get your Master’s Degree. And after you get your Master’s Degree, I want you to get your Doctorate Degree!”'
One of the graduates presented a speech to her fellow classmates, thanking the staff of United South End Settlements and everyone who has helped them along their journey. “I know now what I didn’t know before- that education is the path to many great opportunities. Now we can move forward, plan strategically, prepare knowledgably, and accomplish all our future endeavors.”'
USES has been working to provide program participants with the skills to succeed in college and careers. For over 120 years, USES has been building a strong community by improving the education, health, safety and economic security of low-income individuals and families in Boston’s historic South End/Lower Roxbury and to serve as a national model of successful neighborhood engagement. For more information about USES, please visit www.uses.org.