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Local women celebrate a second chance at education

Bronx Times

Over 100 local women have gotten a second chance at education and a better life for their families.

Grace Outreach, a south Bronx educational program exclusively for women looking to earn their high school equivalency diploma, or GED, graduated 141 participants on Thursday, June 21.

Valedictorian Annarisa Foreman, who received the highest GED exam score, addressed her fellow graduates with warm words of encouragement and an acknowledgement of the distance traveled to reach this point.

The ceremony helped the privately funded nonprofit program reach a count of 802 women receiving their diplomas since its beginnings in 2005.

After a placement test, students are placed at the appropriate level of course study.

Each woman works at a different pace, which will determine how long it will take her to complete the course and sent to one of eight different locations that work with the program to take the GED test.

Program spokesman Andrew Rubinson said the GED consists of five subjects - reading, writing, math, science and social studies. A student needs to score 410 points out of 800 in each section to pass.

Grace Outreach offers three programs that give young women who left high school a second chance to succeed.

The first is designed to provide academic skills to earn their GED, while the second, College Prep, helps women gain access to the higher education needed to improve their earning power, and the third Career Prep, helps women to identify professional interests, teaches job-related skills, and accessing quality job training programs.

The ceremony also honored 27 previous Grace Outreach graduates now enrolled in college.

“The encouragement of the teachers at GO helped me go forward and go for that college degree,” Boncamper said. “I have 21 credits already and am well on my way to an associate’s degree at Bronx Community College. My being in college also helped my employer look at me differently, and I just got a promotion as a result.”

Stephanie Gomez, a graduate of the GED program, said, “I can do anything I set my mind to, even go back to school,”

Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at ksanchez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3394

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