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Celebrating 'Renewed Spirits, Renewed Dreams'

More than 270 students will celebrate a life-changing milestone when they don caps and gowns during CNM's annual GED graduation ceremony. The always inspirational event, which is titled "Renewed Spirits, Renewed Dreams" this year, will take place at 10 a.m. on June 18 in the University of New Mexico's Popejoy Hall.

Aug 30, 2016

June 2011

Renewed Spirits, Renewed Dreams
More than 270 students will celebrate a life-changing milestone when they don caps and gowns during CNM's annual GED graduation ceremony. The always inspirational event, which is titled "Renewed Spirits, Renewed Dreams" this year, will take place at 10 a.m. on June 18 in the University of New Mexico's Popejoy Hall. 

The event is a rare cap-and-gown ceremony for students who have earned their General Educational Development certificate, an accomplishment that opens up a new world of possibilities for many students who, for a variety of reasons, didn't graduate from a high school. Many of the GED graduates have overcome difficult situations to earn their certificates.

Stephen Sanchez from the School of Adult and General Education has organized the event and said that it's important to provide GED graduates the opportunity to have a graduation ceremony, to wear a cap and gown, hear their name announced and share their accomplishment with their family and friends.

"It's the cherry on top of the cake," Sanchez said. "It's being able to tell family and friends, 'Look, I did do what I said I was going to do. I graduated, I completed my GED.'"

Some of the graduates took GED preparation classes at CNM in preparation for their GED tests. And many of the graduates continue on at CNM to pursue certificates or degrees.

Two outstanding CNM students and former GED graduates were nominated by faculty and staff to serve as keynote speakers for the event.

Phil Brito
Phil Brito and Monica Brown are both currently pursuing degrees at CNM, but of course their journeys have been much different than more traditional students. Both Brito and Brown decided, after years of not having completed their high school educations, to go back and get their GEDs.

When Brito served as a speaker at the CNM Foundation's Donor Dinner last year, he said that before he enrolled at CNM, he never thought that college was a possibility. Overcoming many personal challenges, Phil decided to enroll in courses at CNM and in 2009 received his GED. He is now pursuing a degree in Digital Media and plans to transfer to the University of New Mexico's Visual Media Arts Program.

After receiving her GED in 2010, Monica Brown is pursuing a degree in nursing at CNM. After many years of working full-time without a high school diploma and then experiencing multiple layoffs, Monica decided the time had come for her to go back to school. Her first step was getting a GED. She said that she hopes to transfer to a university and become a nurse practitioner.

Family and friends of the GED graduates are invited to attend. Grads receive a limited number of invitations to share.

CNM's GED classes are offered through the School of Adult & General Education, which has been recognized as one of the four best models in the nation for adult/developmental education by the National Center for Developmental Education and the Center for Advancement of Adult Literacy. Information for students who would like to continue at CNM will be provided at the ceremony.