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Portland Adult Education Graduation is June 28

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Portland Adult Education Graduation is June 28
Posted on 06/27/2018
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Portland Adult Education (PAE) will host its graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 28, at 6 p.m. at Merrill Auditorium for the 34 students who have attained high school diplomas and the 85 students who passed the HiSET test (formerly GED).

The PAE ceremony is always a very special one. PAE graduates can range in age from their late teens to retirement age and beyond. They haven’t taken the usual route to high school graduation for reasons such as illness, disability, working full-time to support their families, coming to anew country where they didn’t speak the language, homelessness and war. Sometimes, PAE students have already completed high school or college, but in another country and in another language.  They all share a determination to succeed.

The following students will speak at the graduation ceremony:

Susan Pita Duku, 42, volunteered at least 560 hours in her church when she needed only 90 hours to earn a credit. Doing more and giving more to others is her way. After years in a camp in Kenya as a refugee from South Sudan, she arrived in the U.S. in 2012 with her three children and four nieces and nephews. In spite of these responsibilities, Duku chose to begin to earn a high school diploma in 2015. Neither a serious back injury, nor struggles with progressing in English prevented her from continuing with her studies. Duku will speak about what it means to her to attain this diploma.

Awaleh Idriss Ibrahim, 30, has completed nearly 30 courses in 18 months to earn not only a high school diploma, but also certificates in office skills and accounting at Portland Adult Education. During that interval, he worked full time, became a father to a second child, and settled into life in the U.S. as a refugee from Djibouti. In addition, he has successfully prepared to attend Southern Maine Community College to study accounting. Ibrahim will describe how his industry and energy have propelled him to achieve his goals.

PAE, which is part of the Portland Public Schools, typically serves more than 4,000 adults each year, in academic and ELL classes, as well as enrichment and job skills classes.

PHOTO CAPTION: A happy graduate from the PAE Class of 2017 poses after the graduation ceremony last year with her family members.