The Aspire Program Hosts Graduation | News, Sports, Jobs


The Aspire Adult Diploma program held its 2021-2022 graduation ceremony at the Washington County Career Center Thursday evening with friends and family in attendance.

“I’m proud of you and all you’ve accomplished.” said Ashli ​​Diamond, coordinator of Aspire, during the opening of the ceremony.

“Our graduates will receive a scholarship tonight of up to $1,000 to apply to one of the programs offered here at the Career Center Adult Technical Training Center. We hope this can help you in your academic journey. said Diamond.

The Aspire Adult Diploma program is for Ohio residents age 20 or older who do not have their high school diploma or equivalent. It provides vocational training and a pathway for program students to graduate from high school based on ACT WorkKeys scores. There are day, night and online courses to meet the needs of all its students. All services are free.

This year’s graduation had the first husband and wife couple to complete the program together. MaKayla Johnson had been in and out of the program for three years when she brought in her husband Tobias Johnson.

Graduates Tobias and MaKayla Johnson pose for a photo with their four children after the Aspire graduation ceremony held Thursday at the Washington County Career Center in Marietta.

“I was on and off.” Makayla said. “I would go to class for a few weeks and then I would slowly decline and quit. Then I put (Tobias) in. Once he started he didn’t stop.

“I had my moments” said Tobias. “We both worked full time and we have four children. So there were a lot of them. »

MaKayla was working seven days a week as a caregiver and Tobias was working manually for a towing company when they started the program. They have four children who are all under 4 years old.

“I found out that we had the times to take the test. So I took the test and when I finished my test, I scheduled the test (of MaKayla). She showed up the next day, took his test and passed it, and we both signed up for classes.

MaKayla has now secured a job at The Arbors in Marietta and says she plans to further her education as a medical assistant and eventually nursing, and Tobias intends to further her education in mental health or in construction.

From left, Aspire Coordinator Ashli ​​Diamond presents MaKayla Johnson with her certificate during Thursday’s graduation ceremony at the Washington County Career Center in Marietta.

“Whatever will be most beneficial to my family.” said Tobias. “That’s ultimately what it’s all about. I struggled for so long without graduating from high school. Now I can set an example for the four children.

Asked about the difficulty of the program, Tobias said the teachers are very knowledgeable, they make learning fun and enjoyable, and are always there to answer questions and help. Students work at their own pace, and after 8 p.m., and when they feel comfortable with the materials, they can take their test and begin their trades lessons.

“I feel like if I can do it, anyone can do it.” said Tobias.

For more information about the Aspire programs offered at the Career Center Adult Technical Education Center, individuals can visit the website at [email protected] or, or they can call 740-855- 5990.

Douglass Huxley can be contacted at [email protected]

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