When 24 local students in Western Nevada College’s adult literacy and language program passed their GED recently, program coordinator Angela Andrade-Holt quickly learned how much the honor meant to them.
“Instructor Susan Weikel suggested that we hold a celebration for the students, and I assumed that we might get about 20 to attend if we were lucky,” she said.
Andrade-Holt’s projection wasn’t even close. Nearly 100 people turned out at WNC Fallon’s Virgil Getto Hall to celebrate.
“It was an incredible event, thanks to the effort of many,” Andrade-Holt said. “The community stepped up and supported the event with prizes and scholarships. Our instructor did some fancy footwork to make it all happen.”
Numerous local businesses provided assistance and donations, including Brenda Angus, Big R, Susie Blanco, Kathy Bohrn, Cold Springs Station, Courtyard Café, Fallon Auto Mall, Jack’s Place, Jeff’s Digitech, JK Llamas, Julie’s Flower Shop, Kent’s Supply, Louie’s Dollar Store, Katie Mathews, Mainstreet Café, Dave Polk, Safeway, Rachael Wengar and Julie Weikel, DVM.
Brad Deeds, adult education director for the Nevada Department of Education, was the keynote speaker. WNC Dean of Students John Kinkella also addressed the group.
Some of the students attended WNC’s intense six-week boot camp to prepare and pass five subject tests; others attended preparatory classes two days a week. Some of the students worked toward their goal even longer.
“For some, it took years,” Andrade-Holt said. “This is a very exciting time for those who have been working really, really hard. I’m very proud of the students and their accomplishments and encourage them to carry on and attend college.”
Some of the students have already enrolled at WNC, she said.