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Adults get educated, receive GED

Fourteen graduate in second ceremony for 2009.

Graduates of the corps-sponsored GED program. [Photo by Rhode Danielson]

For the second time this year, the Tucson Amphi Corps held a graduation ceremony for 14 GED (general equivalency diploma) students. In September, at Tucson’s Westin La Paloma Resort, about 100 people attended the service, including graduates, their families and friends, Tucson advisory board members, officers, volunteers, and friends of The Salvation Army.

According to Jean Closs, Tucson Amphi Corps education director, “The need arose for a second graduation ceremony for 2009 because we were graduating so many.”

Keynote speaker, Arizona State Senator Al Melvin, challenged the graduates to “keep pressing on toward your goals!”

Guests from Southwest divisional headquarters included Divisional Leaders Lt. Colonels Doug and Rhode Danielson, and Divisional Secretary for Program, Major Patti Brooks. Territorial Secretary for Program Lt. Colonel Eda Hokom accepted thanks for the contribution from the program department officers and staff, who offered both financial and programming encouragement to the GED/education program.

The first ceremony, held in March, also featured 14 graduates. So far, a total of 28 students have completed the two-year program. Because of its rolling registration, people can enter the program at any time.

Captain David Kauffman, Tucson Amphi corps officer, stated, “This program came as a result of the Percept demographics program offered to all corps. We noticed a great disparity in the neighborhood and the schools we serve between income, crime, and unemployment, and the levels of education that most people in that area possessed.

“As a result,” Kauffman continued, “the Amphi Corps advisory council, corps council, and staff launched into ‘vision’ and ‘action’ modes simultaneously to put together the education department.”

Enlisting the help of Tucson city administration, divisional and territorial headquarters, the corps was able to access money from the T.L. Williams grant, and education of the children and adults began.

Adults are able to pre-test, study, and practice test for their GED. After satisfactorily completing the prerequisites, they may take the test free of charge through a partnership with Pima Community College. Currently 375 adult students are enrolled, and the corps is hoping that 10 percent will graduate by the end of 2010.


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