Adult Ed Graduation

June 13, 2018

As a boy growing up in Guatemala, Walter Ramos dreamed of becoming a teacher. Unfortunately, his parents were not able to afford to send him to school beyond sixth grade. So, it was not to be. On Wednesday evening, Walter and 82 of his classmates achieved a different dream – they all graduated with their high school equivalency diplomas from the Adult Education program at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES.
Ramos, who came to the United States at 18, was one of two graduate speakers at the Commencement Ceremony on BOCES' Yorktown campus. Reaching graduation was not an easy task, as he had to first master the English language and then tackle the tests leading to the equivalency. But he persevered.
District Superintendent Dr. James Ryan praised and congratulated the graduates and their families, speaking in both English and Spanish, after asking the graduates not to laugh at his efforts.  Among other things, Dr. Ryan told the graduates that their accomplishment improves and benefits the entire community.
Elsa Albanese, the other student speaker, said she attended school through the eighth grade in her native Italy before coming to the United States. Although she married and had a family, and her two daughters both graduated from college, Albanese, 63, wanted to earn how own diploma. She did so through PNW BOCES.
The Adult Literacy program at PNW BOCES has 13 locations across the region where it provides training in essential workplace skills, English for speakers of other languages and preparation for the TASC or test assessing secondary completion.
PHOTO CAPTION:  Walter Ramos addresses classmates during the Adult Ed Graduation Ceremony Wednesday night at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES.