Congrats to 2023 GED®, high school completion grads!

3 smiling grads in caps and gownsBlack Hawk College recently celebrated the accomplishments of 79 students at the annual GED® and High School Completion Graduation Celebration.

The event recognized Adult Education and Optional Education students from across the college district who completed all GED® or high school completion graduation requirements during the 2022-23 school year.

Seventy-one students earned their GED® (now called the State of Illinois High School Diploma) and eight earned their high school diploma.

Optional Education graduate Monica Hurtado shared her story at the ceremony.

Optional Education grad Monica Hurtado in cap & gown smiling at camera
Optional Ed grad and student speaker Monica Hurtado

“Once COVID hit in 2020 and schools closed, I thought my life was over, not knowing what was going to happen next or knowing if I’m even ever going to graduate,” Hurtado said. “Black Hawk gave me the support system through my toughest times.

“There (were) times where I had to miss school months at a time while my daughter was in the hospital getting surgery,” she said. “They were willing to be flexible with my situations and always helped me get back on track.”

Tony and Joann Reynolds also spoke at the graduation. Their daughter, Adrianne, was a 16-year-old student in the Optional Education program when she was killed in January 2005. Since her death, the Reynolds have raised thousands of dollars to help other high school-age students pay for their GED® testing fees.

“Adrianne had her hopes and dreams. She attended Black Hawk Outreach trying to get her GED® to help her reach her goals,” Tony Reynolds said. “She didn’t get to see hers through, but you all can!”

“Going to school can open doors,” Joann Reynolds said. “You may not know what you want to be but going to school can show you different opportunities.”

See more photos from the celebration on Facebook.

Grad Sergio Ochoa-Valazquez with arms open as son runs up to him

GED® and high school completion classes at Black Hawk College are offered at no cost to students and are conducted in a variety of locations. New sessions will begin in August.

For more information, call or visit one of these learning sites:

Black Hawk College Outreach Center
301 Avenue of the Cities, East Moline
309-796-8216

Black Hawk College Adult Learning Center
4610 Black Hawk Commons Drive, Rock Island
309-794-1072

Black Hawk College Community Education Center
404 E. Third St., Kewanee
309-854-1875

High Roads Advantage
2004 SE. Third St., Aledo
309-582-8181

Apply for free Thursday, Feb. 29 using code LEAP2BHC!Apply
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