During a ceremony on the Helena campus, the 2018 GED graduates of the Adult and Developmental Education program at Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas (PCCUA) were honored for this outstanding achievement.

Welcoming attendees to the ceremony was Samtira McChristian, who congratulated her classmates on this accomplishment. Receiving special achievement awards for their academic performance in the program were Blake Watkins, Veronica Hoskins, and James Bennett.

Serving as speaker for the evening, Wandra Williams, director of community service/continuing education who is entering her 40th year at PCCUA, told the graduates that she, too, is a GED graduate of Phillips College.

“I credit my successful journey and love for learning to this adult education program, because it was here that I found the self-confidence I so badly needed,” Williams said. “I think a person has to experience some form of failure to truly appreciate success. Getting my GED certificate made me a better person, and all the degrees that followed were mere add ons to the degree that mattered the most to me.”

Williams was initially hired at PCCUA as a secretary in the adult education department, where she had received her GED. She explained that, one day, the former director of the department was at the high school where Williams was working, and Williams mentioned that she got her GED at PCCUA. The director was looking for a secretary and offered her the position.

“What are the odds of me working at the very place where my educational journey started,” she said. “So I encourage each of you to never stop learning and welcome the journey of life’s experiences with open arms.”

Participating in awarding diplomas and congratulating the new graduates were Adult Education Director Carol Birth, PCCUA Vice Chancellor Scott Post, and adult education paraprofessional Addie Chandler. Among those from the Helena-W. Helena campus receiving an Arkansas High School Diploma through the Arkansas Department of Education were: Hayley Atkinson, James Bennett, Albert Brewer, Arlisha Brewer, Shania Curtis, Shanique Flowers, Veronica Hoskins, Artemas House, Amanda Hadder, Angela Love, Amanda McBride, Samtira McChristian, Alexis Strange, and William “Blake” Watkins.