Wallace State celebrates GED, ACE, Career and Workforce graduates

Graduates participating in the Wallace State Career and Workforce Development Recognition Ceremony and Adult Education Graduation wave to family and friends in the audience, thanking them for their support. (WSCC)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Wallace State Community College is proud to recognize dozens of students who completed a General Equivalency Degree (GED), Alabama Career Essentials (ACE) training or earned certifications through the college’s Center for Career and Workforce Development training programs. The students were awarded their certificates or degrees during the college’s Career and Workforce Development Recognition Ceremony and Adult Education Graduation on May 16 in Traditions Bank Arena at Tom Drake Coliseum.  

“Graduates, we congratulate you as you conclude this passage of life’s journey and embark on the next,” said Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics. “Today, we celebrate your success, and we excitedly anticipate tomorrow as we watch your journey continue to unfold.” 

“We are overjoyed to be able to celebrate your achievements,” said Suzanne Harbin, vice president for advancement. “Your accomplishments are great, and Wallace State is honored to have been a part of your journey.” 

“I would like to say congratulations to all of those who have completed their GED, their High School Diploma, their Alabama Career Essentials (ACE) certification and all the workforce certifications represented here tonight,” said Patti Wilkins, director of Adult Education. “I would like to specifically speak to those students who have earned their GED or ACE certification.  Please do not stop here. We have many resources to help you pay for tuition to earn a degree, or to earn a certification that will help you enter the workforce, with a bright future.” 

GED graduate Austin Humphries of Hayden was one of the guest speakers at the ceremony. Two years ago, Humphries, 47, said the thought of getting his GED and enrolling in college never entered his mind. He was struggling to overcome addiction, a cycle that started when he was 9 with alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana and advanced to cocaine and heroin. He overdosed 20 times – having to be brought back to life five times – before he decided to make some changes.  

“It’s nothing to be proud of,” he admitted. “I’m ashamed.” 

After his last overdose, he spent time at the Jimmie Hale Mission before being referred to Royal Pines, one of the locations for Wallace State Adult Education classes. He relapsed but was given the opportunity to begin the program again. 

“I chose to start over,” he said. “I believe that was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I signed up for GED classes because the goal was to work at the Pines, and I couldn’t work until I got my GED.” 

Humphries is now enrolled in college classes and plans to work toward a degree in psychology.  

“If you don’t think it’s possible to start from the bottom and become something, you can,” Humphries said. “Make that first step and you will never regret it.” 

Other speakers were Tracy Rushing of R.E. Garrison Trucking, which has supported the CDL program with donations of a truck and trailers; Bailey Hatfield, a Phlebotomy graduate; and Corey Cochran, GED graduate and pastor of Meek Baptist Church, located next door to Wallace State’s planned Winston County Community Learning Center. 

Area students earning their GED include: 

Addison: Julie Lynn Hubbert 

Blountsville: Jessica Horton, Jonathon Kent, Raley Breanna Walton 

Cleveland: Dallas Nicole Carpenter 

Cullman: Garrett Justus Allen, Jordan Katlyn Allred, Aracely Espinoza, Jason Euell Kennedy 

Eva: Chaden Isom Hill 

Falkville: Trever W. Murphy 

Hanceville: Lane Joseph Allen, Cody Aaron Fields, Candace Marie Hagar, Joseph Hunter Keith, Alexis Brooke Speakman, Mindy Ann Ankrom, Abigail Elizabeth Garrison 

Hartselle: Julia Birchall, Levi Birchall 

Hayden: Austin Humphries, James Dean Pesnell 

Oneonta: Richard Duarte Hernandez 

Union Grove: Preston Moody  

Area students earning their ACE include:  

Hayden: Travis Duke 

Addison: Julie Lynn Hubbert 

Hanceville: Joseph Bozue, Jason Inman 

Hayden: Micah Binkley, Chase Rockco, Noah Allen Sandford II, Jonathan Short 

Mobile: Earl Jackson 

Tuscaloosa: Chase Bradford Haynes 

Vinemont: Emily Bush, Zoe Holcomb 

Career and Workforce graduates include:  

Basic Robotics: Cole Wingard 

Blueprint Reading: Jenna Burgess 

CDL Class A: Larry Barnett Jr., Charles Blaylock, Todd Brown, Jeffrey Bryan, Angela Leamon, Carey Marks, Dylan McMickin, Christopher Pugh, Suzette Pugh, Jack Wheeler, Jacob Young 

CDL Class A (Class B to A Upgrade): Brenda Ogwin, Rebekah Willoughby 

HAAS Machining: Luke Morrow 

Medication Assistant: Christa Benjamin, Kyra Capers, Voncille Dickinson, Brittany Gore, Jessica Gore, Annie Jackson, October Jones, Christina McCaskill, Courtney Mink 

Phlebotomy Technician: Dennis Aguado Hernandez, Dana Blackwood, Alissa Bova, Jordon Bryant, Candance Freeman, Samuel Gable, Candace Hagar, Morgan-Bailey Hatfield, Khila Howell, Allison Huckeba, Makenzie Light, Megan Littrell, Amber Livingston, Abigail Lynn, Kristina Ostberg, Jessica Turnbull, Mary White 

For more information about Wallace State’s Adult Education program, contact Patti Wilkins at 256-352-7429 or patti.wilkins@wallacestate.edu or visit www.wallacestate.edu/adulted

For more information about Wallace State Center for Career and Workforce Development, call 256-352-8386, email ashley.baker@wallacestate.edu or visit www.wallacestate.edu/careerdevelopment.  

See listings of current and upcoming classes in the summer and fall schedule listings at www.wallacestate.edu/schedule.  

To view video of ceremony: www.youtube.com/live/W_0LjNVhajc?feature=share 

To view photos from ceremony: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAE8LU