Joshua Case, a native of Russia, overcame a lot of obstacles before he received his GED diploma through Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Youth Success Academy (YSA).
Case, who goes by JC, was among 59 students who recently received their GED diploma during the Youth Success Academy’s two graduation ceremonies. Case and 28 additional students graduated on Thursday, June 2, from the YSA program on GNTC’s Walker County Campus (WCC) in Rock Spring, and 30 students graduated on Tuesday, June 7, from the YSA program on the Floyd County Campus (FCC) in Rome.
“The best part for me about being in the YSA program was getting a chance to be part of a family that will always be willing to help out at any time,” Case said.
He was born in Penza, Russia, and lived in an orphanage until he was 15 months old when a couple from Michigan adopted him. He was later diagnosed with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and eventually moved to live with his grandparents in Georgia, who were hoping to find a smaller middle school that fit his needs, said Laurie Parker, his grandmother.
After four schools, he found his footing at the Youth Success Academy. There his instructors cheered his successes. When he fell short of his goals, he was told, “Don’t worry. We will just work a little harder,” she said.
“I’m thankful to be here at graduation,” Case said. “It’s been a long ride. There have been a lot of struggles, but I made it through.”
Jonathan Anderson was the student speaker at the graduation ceremony on the Walker County Campus, and student Austin Carter delivered the benediction. Destany Monroe was the student speaker at the graduation ceremony on the Floyd County Campus.
Jonathan Anderson, Dustin Atcheson, Jacob Benson, T’naya Bishop, Amanda Bryan, Alexander Busbee, Austin Carter, Joshua Case, Gavin Chambers, Dustin Frankenburg, Alex Geesey, Kylie Howard, Jeremey Hughes, Nicholas Johnson, Tayln Kernea, Theresa Kirk, Ethan Langston, James Martin, Ronald McCaghren, Omari McCleary, Whitney McCormick, Breanna McGhee, Maddox Newby, Brooklyn Pell, Michael Seay, Skylar Silvers, Savannah Simpson, Jordan Ward and Candace Whitefield graduated from the Walker County Campus program.
Justin Alexander, Dustin Chittom, Cambria Eckert, Ethan Edwards, Landyn Green, Tony Gomez, Tyler Harcourt, Madison House, Emma Huggins, Hannah Hulsey, Kade Keith, Tanner King, John Kotter, Rafael Lopez, Emily McDaniel, Destany Monroe, Asly Ortega, Rachel Pelanek, Dakota Pilcher, Patrick Ramos, Gabriel Renfro, Maria Rodriquez, Audrey Sertel-Hall, Ethan Shaw, Tyler Shaw, Maitlyn Stanley, Landon Thacker, Anthonny Velasquez, Laney Wagner and Brandon Worthy graduated from the Floyd County Campus program.
YSA, sponsored through a partnership with GNTC and Northwest Georgia Regional Development Center, is specifically designed for out-of-school youth who wish to attain a GED diploma and a technical education. Students in the program prepare for the GED exam and participate in job readiness trainings, as well as workshops and leadership activities.
The Youth Success Academy offers several programs including GED diploma testing. The academy assists adults up to the age of 24 with college expenses, help with college enrollment and assistance in gaining experience in different career fields. For more information, contact the FCC YSA at 706-295-6940 and the WCC YSA at 706-764-3783.