CARE Learning Centre director Neletha Butterfield, far right, joins the celebration. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
CARE Learning Centre director Neletha Butterfield, far right, joins the celebration. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

THURSDAY, JUNE 16: A celebration was held as 14 students passed exams to obtain a GED today.

The students had completed the programme at the CARE Learning Centre and passed the five exams necessary to get the qualification.

The ceremony was held at St Paul’s AME.

Reigning Miss Bermuda Jana Lynn Outerbridge, a graduate of the programme in 2006 spoke to the students and encourage them to always challenge themselves.

“I remember going to night classes and trying to figure out how I was going to get through.

“Fortunately, with a lot of prayer and studying I made it.

“I want to challenge you all to not stop here.

“The opportunities for you are endless.”

She continued: “I encourage everyone here to take risks, try something new.

“If you don’t believe in yourself or your dreams, it will be difficult for those around you to believe in you.”

The class valedictorian was Edward DeSilva Ottley who described the exams as “easy”.

The 19-year-old said: “I’ve just always been a smart student.

Very proud

“I have always been on the top of my class.

“I’m not very proud of myself because I feel like I should have got my GED when I was in high school at CedarBridge.

“I feel I should have had this.”

He continued: “I am happy for myself.

“In my teen years I was making bad choices.”

Mr Ottley told the audience he had recently been acquitted in a trial where he could have been jailed for three years.

“While on bail, I got a job and enrolled in CARE.

“This is the beginning of the rest of my life.”

“To anyone out there who hadn’t got a GED or a diploma, I highly suggest you hop on that now.

“It’s the first piece of the puzzle. Life is what you make it.”

Craig Daniels also spoke to the audience and said he had dropped out of high school 30 years ago to help support his single mother.

“A lot of things I learned from friends and being on the street.

“I had every opportunity to become a negative statistic.

“I realised as a young man had I to take responsibility for the family.

“I see these young kids today with their ability to learn and they’re not using their full potential to do it.

“I just want to encourage everyone in your family to love.”

Those who passed their exams include Edward Albuoy, Brooke Caisey, Koshun Durrant, Phylicia Furbert, Sharelle Gibbons, Albert Lightbourne, Chelsea Longworth, Jahvon Outerbridge, Cejae Payne, Robert Simmons, Shannon Wilkinson and Richard Carlington.