Cherokee Nation graduates 72 from adult education program

BY STAFF REPORTS
09/24/2019 04:00 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Deputy Chief Bryan Warner and Tribal Councilors Keith Austin and Daryl Legg, center, helped celebrate 72 graduates from the tribe’s adult education program during a ceremony held Sept. 19 at the Cherokee Casino Tahlequah Chota Center. COURTESY
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation celebrated 72 graduates from its adult education program during a Sept. 19 ceremony at the Cherokee Casino Tahlequah Chota Center.

Participants who completed the program and passed the GED high school equivalency test were awarded diplomas at the reception.

Mark Pritchett, of Tahlequah, was one of the adult education program graduates. In March, the company where he worked for 23 years went out of business, so he became involved in the program while looking for future job prospects.

“Nowadays you need a GED for any job,” Pritchett, 41, said. “I’m a truck driver by profession, and even some of those need a GED. I am just so grateful for the program and for the people who work there. They are very helpful and they put you at ease throughout the program.”

The adult education program allows participants to study subjects such as math, reading and writing at their own paces until they are ready to take the high school equivalency test.

The adult education program is administered by the CN Career Services. The tribe provides GED instruction at multiple locations throughout its 14-county jurisdiction with options for morning, afternoon and evening classes. Testing is available at Pryor, Sallisaw, Stilwell and Tahlequah.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the achievements our Cherokee citizens have made,” Career Services Executive Director Diane Kelley said. “Our adult education program is one of the most rewarding opportunities provided by the Cherokee Nation, and it is always the best feeling to see the next group of graduates donning their caps and gowns for this celebration.”

The program serves citizens of federally recognized tribes within the 14-county jurisdiction who are 16 years of age or older.

Deputy Chief Bryan Warner and Tribal Councilors Keith Austin and Daryl Legg helped honor the graduates.

“This is a celebration of what our Cherokee Nation Citizens have accomplished,” Warner said. “Education is a lifelong journey, and no matter what road you’ve taken to be where you are today, you should never give up, no matter what your story is. I’m proud of each and every one of our citizens for completing this program, and I look forward to seeing what they will accomplish in the future.”

For information on the adult education program, call the Career Services Learning Center at 918-458-0577.

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