Adult Basic Education celebrates graduates

ABE graduate poses for a picture with her family in front of balloons of the number 2024.
By Greg MacDonald

July 03, 2024 - 11:20 AM

The Adult Basic Education (ABE) Department celebrated its largest ever graduating class in the Sophia Clarke Theater on June 27.

Nearly half of the 123 graduates were honored in person after earning their high school diploma or equivalency (GED or HiSET).

“(Some students) will go on to take college classes, and some will get their diploma to advance in their jobs,” says Lesley Johnson, Director, Adult Education.

The youngest graduate was 18, and the oldest was 61. Whether these students are one class away or facing a long road to a graduation, the ABE is right there with them to provide support.

“Students can finish in a month, but for some students it can take a year or longer,” Johnson says. “We provide wraparound services for students. We have tutors available in the classroom and via Zoom to help students with their assignments or help prepare for tests. We also have counselors available to students to help them transition to college or even provide career counseling.”

The graduates are extremely appreciative for the extra assistance. ABE graduate is excited to receive his diploma.

“I want to thank the whole gang at Rising Scholars, and the ABE programs for all their help and support they have shown me,” graduate Beayana Valles says in the event’s program. “I also want to encourage people to never give up because there is light at the end of every dark tunnel.”

Another grad, Lichao Guo, echoes that appreciation.

“I sincerely appreciate all the support and help from the Adult Basic Education Department,” Lichao says. “Your belief in my potential and your support on my educational journey are incredibly meaningful to me.”

The ABE staff knows how much graduating means to these students and is happy to see them overcome life’s obstacles to achieve it.

“This is a huge milestone for these adult students who decided to return to school to earn their high school diploma or equivalency, despite all the things that are happening in their daily lives,” Johnson says.

The Adult Basic Education Department is located in Building 30, and can be reached at (909) 274-4845 and at