GNTC’s Youth Success Academy holds Drive-In Graduation

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Despite the chance of rain, students from the Youth Success Academy (YSA) lined up in their cars at Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Walker County Campus (WCC) on Tuesday, Aug. 25, to receive their GED® diplomas in a Drive-In Graduation.

Students got out of their cars and walked up to the tent set up in front of the Student Center where, after receiving their award and turning their tassels, they turned to celebrate in front of the friends and family social distancing throughout the parking lot. The graduation meant everything to the young adults said Vince Stalling, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) youth services coordinator.

“I could see their faces and how they lit up, it was beautiful,” he said. “This was a small way to show appreciation for their achievements. I think they enjoyed it and it brought them one step closer to their goals.”

Once the last graduate received their diploma, the YSA coordinator and instructors gathered around a tripod to video conference Shayley Oliver. The graduate was unable to be at Tuesday night’s event because of a recent car accident. She was presented her diploma virtually while Stalling along with the staff and instructors from YSA cheered for Oliver and told her how much she was missed.

Dawson Cobb of LaFayette gets out of his car to receive his GED® diploma during the Drive-In Graduation at GNTC’s Walker County Campus on Tuesday, Aug. 26.
Dawson Cobb of LaFayette gets out of his car to receive his GED® diploma during the Drive-In Graduation at GNTC’s Walker County Campus on Tuesday, Aug. 26.

The group of YSA graduates attended classes at the Floyd County Campus (FCC) and the Walker County Campus. The program follows the graduates for a year as they enter a new chapter of their life said Erick Hopper, YSA youth services instructor.

Hopper said the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission provides funding for the YSA program. The program gives students a different approach to their education.

The Youth Success Academy offers several programs including GED® diploma testing. The academy assists out of school youth between the ages of 18 and 24 with college expenses. It also helps with college enrollment and assistance in gaining experience in different career fields. For more information, contact the YSA on the Floyd County Campus at 706-295-6940 and the YSA on the Walker County Campus at 706-764-3783. 

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 12,454 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,730 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 4,724 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

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