Originally published May 23, 2019 at 08:15p.m.

Updated May 23, 2019 at 10:17p.m.

Bullying, young motherhood, substance abuse and shattering molds were among the reasons the latest group of GED earners gave for rerouting their educational journeys. Courage and hard work got them to the graduation stage May 18 at Yavapai College.

“There were many times that I wanted to give up, convincing myself that if I failed my tests then it wasn’t meant to be,” 46-year-old Jennifer Trisdale said in an address to fellow GED earners and audience members gathered in the YC Performing Arts Center. “Well, I failed many, many times. Each time I became a little wiser, a little stronger and a little more brave.”

The Dewey resident was one of 180 Yavapai County residents who obtained their GEDs, many with assistance from Yavapai College’s Adult Basic Education program. Approximately 40 GED earners participated in the award ceremony.

Trisdale said having her teenage daughter tell her “You can” inspired her to “show up” and get her GED.

Yavapai College President Dr. Lisa Rhine told the graduates to take pride in achieving a personal milestone that required courage and commitment and “one that proves all things are possible.”

Rhine encouraged the GED earners to continue investing in their educations.

GED earners participating in the ceremony were Sylvia Coke and Ignacio Mejia of Camp Verde; Janell Canuel and Shayna Granillo of Chino Valley; Jocelynn Graham of Coolidge; Emily Crane, Calista Newell, Brieanna Sincleair, Jennifer Wilson, Christopher Brunner and Jessikah Bonner of Cottonwood; Jonathan Vernon, Jennifer Trisdale, Clarineth Miller and Tiffany McKinley of Dewey; Rachell Lueck, Lauren Harris and Zoey Ross of Prescott; Elizabeth Ameral, Deborah Atkinson, Francesca Cesarini, Alexandra Chester Barr, Leighann Hjelm, Gayle Koehn, Grant Matsuda, Heather Murphy, Stephen Norris, Kassidy Nunnally, Kayla Self, Theodore Simpson, Destanie Reid, Heather Dodson, Nany Garcia Arellano, Justin Kelly, Stephanie Morningstar, Maribel Bugarin, Garett Allen and Gabriella Caratachea of Prescott Valley; Mia Strydom of Rimrock; and JoDe Moore of Sedona.

For more information about Adult Basic Education at Yavapai College, or English as a Second Language, visit www.yc.edu/ABE.

Information provided by Yavapai College.