Graduation: Celebrating Success and Scholarship

IMG_5662Each year, for four decades, graduates of the various high school completion programs at the Dover Adult Learning Center get together to celebrate. Complete with cap and gown, these students march in a procession, come up to stage and receive a diploma. Like typical high school students, who earn a traditional diploma, they are now considered ready for the next step, college, career, or perhaps a vocational or apprenticeship program. Unlike typical high school students, their educational path may not have been traditional at all. Life circumstances and other challenges may have made their journey longer or harder and thus the reward even sweeter.

This year, on Monday June 16th, hundreds will again gather at Dover High School.

Students will also be recognized and rewarded with scholarships. The Helen Phipps – Debbie Tasker Scholarship honors DALC’s two long-time directors. The Betsy Hackett Memorial Scholarship honors the former teacher for her passion for working with women in transition. The Minette Induisi Scholarship, funded by the Beacon Group, honors her work past and present and her commitment to help every student find success.

The winning scholars are chosen based on the following criteria: Evidence of commitment to education and clear thinking about educational goals, likelihood of success in the in the higher education program chosen and need for financial assistance in order to reach goal.

Dover Rotary Club funds a $1500 scholarship divided between a few very deserving students and Rotary provides smaller scholarships throughout the year for testing fees and adult high school.

A highlight of the graduation each year is the essay contest. The topic is “What I have learned about myself through my adult education experience.” The diversity of backgrounds, from war-torn foreign countries, to economic adversity, to learning challenges brings a deeper connection within the student body, a shared sense of overcoming obstacles. When told through the essays it is a very emotional and heartwarming experience and the perfect way to acknowledge just how far theses students have come.