The Queens Library Central branch
held a ceremony for GED graduates
this week to celebrate their
achievements. Photo by Jordan
BY JORDAN GIBBONS
Billie Williams has been looking to get her General Education Development diploma since 1997, but her full-time job with the Parks Department and taking care of her three boys delayed the process.
After dedicating the last four months at the Queens Library, she earned her diploma and said she was going to have a graduation drink with her sister, LaToya, after the graduation ceremony at the Queens Library Central Branch in Jamaica on Tuesday.
“I’m motivated more now to continue my education,” Williams said. “I plan on working towards an associate’s degree in business management.”
The library celebrated the graduations of 140 adults who prepared for and successfully earned their high school diplomas using the free resources of Queens Library’s Adult Learners Program.
The graduates participated in a processional dressed in full academic regalia.
The library also provided special tutoring, peer support and the computer skills they needed to take this step and achieve their goal.
Interim President and CEO Bridget Quinn-Carey addressed the graduates before they received their diploma.
“I hope this is one step on a long road of moving forward,” she said. “I promise that wherever you choose to go next, Queens Library will be here to help you.”
Jerome Simmons of Long Island City said he fell short of his high school diploma because he had to help his family with some medical issues, and each time he tried to go back something came up.
Simmons eventually took the test in 2014 and found out he passed.
“I’m glad to be here,” he said. “It was a great experience. I’m looking towards going to school for psychology or to be a medical technician.”
Simmons is about to start a job with HeartShare Human Service of New York, a nonprofit agency dedicated to improving the lives of people in need of special services and support.
He said he will be working with people dealing with both medical and mental health issues.
Queens Library offers English for Speakers of Other Languages, Adult Basic Education, pre-high school equivalency preparation, the high school equivalency exam online and a spectrum of free programs to help learners enrich their lives at all stages of their learning careers.
Reach Reporter Jordan Gibbons at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 123, email@example.com or @jgibbons2.