Students worked toward 'life goals'
By Jennifer R. Vertullo
Published: Saturday, May 18, 2013, 1:26 a.m.
Earning their high school equivalency through Mon Valley Bridge, area students are linking their efforts to their goals, through education.
The McKeesport facility hosted its annual graduation ceremony on Friday at Bethlehem Baptist Church, with eight of the program's 15 graduates present to accept their GED and Mon Valley Bridge certificates.
“It's more than just a piece of paper. It's an accomplishment,” Mary Swink of McKeesport said. “I can work toward my goals now. I want to go to college and be a nurse.”
Swink, a mother of three, said Mon Valley Bridge taught her that people control their futures, and life is whatever people make of it.
“It opened my eyes,” she said. “It guided me to places I want to go.”
Jamaal Craig, the ceremony's keynote speaker who visits Mon Valley Bridge classrooms regularly, said he wants students to know that education will open doors that can't be closed.
Craig spoke about his career in the police force before pursuing further education. When he returned to college, he was surprised to be on academic probation because his grades weren't up to par.
“My story isn't much different from theirs,” he said. “While I have college degrees now, I didn't always have them. It took hard work, dedication and goals. Had I not had that in me, I wouldn't be where I am.”
Youth coach Chris Preston said keeping focused on the future has been a struggle for Mon Valley Bridge students.
“They are back with the courage to start their journey again,” she said. “This is just the beginning of making a life for yourself.”
Program manager Kathleen McQuillan said every student has an awesome, unique story.
“These kids keep trying, and they keep succeeding,” she said.
Courtney Young of Wilkinsburg said Mon Valley Bridge staff worked hard to make students value their education. She said students worked toward life goals rather than the certificate itself.
“It's not just a GED,” she said. “They build a friendship and bond to push you forward to achieve your goals.”
Mon Valley Bridge is located at 363 Shaw Ave., McKeesport. For more information, call 412-948-1800.
Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Lincoln Way work finally set to begin
- Clairton Seuss Cafe just what doctor ordered for love of reading
- License transfer paves way for new restaurant in McKeesport
- McKeesport lifts state of emergency
- AIU forum bashes governor’s education budget
- New McKeesport committee to focus on community issues
- Family, McKeesport community grieves for girl, 14, killed by truck
- Wall landmark may be demolished
- McKeesport-area officials on lookout for landslides
- Elizabeth resident charged in fuel theft
- West Elizabeth mayor tenders resignation