Kitrena Low remembers her first day of computer class and not wanting to speak in front of her classmates. On Saturday she stood in front of her class, family and friends as valedictorian.
"It takes a lot of courage to go back to school after taking many years off," Low said. "But we made it together."
Assiniboine Community College’s Adult Collegiate had 41 students walk across the stage to receive their diplomas at the ceremony on Saturday afternoon.
For Low, it had been 20 years since she left school before she returned.
"Graduating means the world to me," she said. "I am doing this for my son to better his life so he doesn't struggle the way I did."
Instructors, families and friends filled McDiarmid Drive Alliance Church to watch the graduation ceremony. Small children were eager to give their graduates flowers and hugs.
As each student walked across the stage to receive their diplomas, master of ceremonies Kim Martin read a message from the graduate thanking teachers, family members and friends for all their support throughout the process.
One little girl ran on to the stage to hug a new graduate.
"For a lot of us, this is our one and only chance to get a degree," Low said. "That’s why I say that failure was not an option."
The variety of students have many different plans for their futures. Several graduates have plans to begin post-secondary programs at Assiniboine Community College. Other will go onto university or into the workforce.
"I have to thank Diana Dafoe for helping me when I was almost pulling out my hair," Low said. "She helped me to find my passion and next year I will be taking land and water management at ACC."
Ten of the 41 students graduated with honours, meaning their cumulative average was higher than 80 per cent. Awards for excellence and achievement were given to 22 students.
The Adult Collegiate gives students the opportunity to earn their mature student high school diploma, regular diploma and complete credits required to continue on with post-secondary education.
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