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Graduates Celebrate Achieving High School Diplomas at SC’s First Graduation for Adults 21 and Older

Adult graduates celebration ceremony.

Graduates receive high school diplomas in SC’s first graduation for 21 and older

Thirteen adults were honored during a graduation ceremony at Trident Technical College in North Charleston on Saturday.

The Graduation Ceremony

The graduates, ages 21 and older, earned their high school diplomas through the Palmetto Excel Center, the tuition-free adult charter high school, partnered with Palmetto Goodwill. Palmetto Excel Center is the first South Carolina charter high school for adults 21 years old and over. “We really are making history here,” Director of Palmetto Excel Adult Charter High School Dr. Ruth Chambers-Turner said.

The graduates walked in to “Pomp and Circumstance” with their friends and families cheering them on. They graduated in blue caps and gowns with a degree in hand. One graduate said despite her feeling timid, she is proud of this accomplishment. “Stepping out and allowing courage to take its course is the best thing that I’ve ever experienced and I’m glad I did it,” graduate Danita Crews said.

Impact on Lives

These graduates said today was more than finishing school. “I came here in 2023 with a purpose and a plan and my why was to be a better me and to get a better career for my two little boys,” another graduate Zannequa “Kia” Gannt said. Chambers-Turner said graduating high school is just the start of these new lives. “Graduates who have kids have kids who are graduates. So not only are they changing the trajectory of their lives, but changing the trajectory of their children’s lives, because they are most likely to be high school graduates as well,” Chambers-Turner said.

Support and Services

The Palmetto Excel Center launched in August 2023, allowing adults who are 21 and older to receive an education at an adult charter high school at no cost. With support from Palmetto Goodwill, they offer not only free courses but also childcare, transportation, and student services. The program is an accelerated five, eight-week terms, which means someone is able to complete all high school credits within two years.

Graduates Celebrate Achieving High School Diplomas at SC's First Graduation for Adults 21 and Older

HERE Charleston
Author: HERE Charleston

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