By Cindy Crosby
The Colleton County Department of Adult Education held the Class of 2022 Commencement on Tuesday, June 7, at Faith Walterboro. Twelve graduates were presented diplomas by Chris Horvath, Director of Adult Education and Dr. Vallerie Cave, Colleton County School District Superintendent.
The Invocation was given by Class of 2022 graduate Henrica Dametra Cox followed by the greeting presented by Dalton Reece O’Quinn.
Class of 2022 graduate Shelby Carol Bessinger gave the graduate’s message saying, “The single most important thing I want to share tonight is what I have learned. We all have different stories. We are all here for different reasons, but most importantly we had one thing in common: we were determined to take the next step in our lives to better our futures. We are all looking forward to who we will become and keeping the hard lessons the world has taught us.”
Bessinger went on to say, “I have learned you have to fight for what you want, what you believe in and most importantly what you want to become. No one single person is perfect, we all make mistakes, we fall, we get up, we learn, we grow from our pasts, we move on, we live, and we thank God for always giving us another chance. I have learned some hard lessons in life but one that has truly stuck with me is that you must preserve and trust in God. Without faith I have nothing, it is what has kept me going, and gotten me where I am proudly at today.”
She closed stating, “Let your dreams be bigger than your fears, your actions louder than your words, and your faith stronger than your feelings. Thank you all and congratulations to the Class of 2022.”
Chris Horvath, Adult Education director, spoke to the graduates and guests, stating that since 2003, Colleton County Adult Education has served over 5,000 adult learners. “Our leaders seated here this evening represent the Colletonians, who this year alone, earned 15 South Carolina High School Equivalency Diplomas, five South Carolina High School Diplomas, and 71 South Carolina Career Ready to Work Credentials,” said Horvath.
“Graduates, I see the future in each of you and I sense the amazing things you will do with your lives,” said Horvath. “In achieving your destiny, let your drive and determination pave your way, and understand you were created to be great. Always keep in mind you are equipped to meet any challenge you face. I am immensely proud of each of you.”
Jaime Fitch shared a poem entitled ‘Dare to Dream’ by Julie Anne Ford.
Dr. Vallerie Cave, Superintendent, gave the graduation message, stating, “In my role as superintendent, I meet disappointments every day. I have successes and I have challenges every day. In fact, my life daily is probably like the road some of you have encountered in order to get here. But I found that this journey is so incredibly freeing because no matter what happens, I have the peace of mind to know that all the chatter, the name calling, the doubting, it is just noise. It does not define who you are, it does not define who I am. It does not change who I am. And, most importantly, it is not going to hold me back. It is not going to hold you back. I know that as long as I stay true to who I am as a person, and I keep my values and belief system in front of me, and where I came from and what I believe, I will be okay – and you will too. I will just keep fulfilling my duty as God has assigned me to do. Graduates, I want you to stay true to who you are.”
The Class of 2022 Adult Education graduates included Shayla Bennett, Shelby Bessinger, Hamer Bostic, Sabion Brown, Henrica Cox, Emma Leigh-Ann Fllers, Brian Moreno-Burgoa, Dalton O’Quinn, James Overland, Korinarose Reynolds, Zackery Sutton, and Jayda Simone Carrington Wright.
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