GARY One by one, the 25 graduates of Gary Middle College walked to their seats, blushing with eachshout of joy coming from proud family and friends during Thursdays commencement.
Gary Middle College graduates earned their high school diploma and also earned 35 college creditsthrough the schools partnership with Ivy Tech Community College. Its adult education program hashelped nontraditionalstudents earn their high school diploma and pays for all students to take collegecourses at Ivy Tech.
Among the graduates, Josette Hubbard, of Gary, expressed howthis was a personal feat that couldnthave happened without the inspiration from her father looking down on her and guiding her every step ofthe way.
We all have our unique stories and battles but we all never gave up, Hubbard said. The teachers areoutstanding and help immensely when it comes to reaching our goals. Ive tried several times tograduate, and with my fathers recent death it hasnt made things easier; however, my father is myinspiration. I know hes here right now watching me and I hope Ive made him proud.
Principal Joe Arredondos energy was contagious to his students, as he made sure each and every oneknew how proud he was of them, giving everyone a peptalkbefore they made their entrance.
Gary College is a oneofakindhybrid high school, Arredondo said. We have students that are 16years of age and older. Our graduating class ties a mixture of students who have transferred fromtraditional high schools or have come to us from a school that has possibly closed, or students who havefailed and became sidetracked but ultimately chose to never give up. Words cannot describe how proudI am for all of my graduating students.
Speaker Ron McCullough gave the students his 10 rules of success.The journey you all are going on doesnt stop today, it continues on, McCullough said. Your attitudedetermines your altitude. How far youre willing to go, how far will your attitude take you.
Not many people know about (Gary Middle College), and maybe someone reading this story canbecome inspired to earn their high school diploma, Arredondo said. Our graduates prove you can learnat any age, and we are all here to help make sure our students earn that rite of passage.