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Hundreds Honored at HCC for Job Training and Education

DTA graduationSPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – The Department of Transitional Assistance was happy to present students with certificates to recognize their push for better lives, Tuesday at Holyoke Community College. Stories were shared by hundreds who have taken the leap to push forward with their education and job training.

Commissioner Stacy Monahan said the students are prime examples of what DTA hopes to accomplish every day.

“It’s our mission to give people a path the self-sufficiency, so this is an important thing we started doing last year just to recognize people every step of the way for a lot our clients they’ve never been recognized for anything positive before so it’s really important…to celebrate their success,” she said.

Over 300 students were honored at the ceremonies, including two young women who were very successful in the Young Parenting Program: 19-year-old Esther Sanchez and 21-year-old Josemery Henriquez.

Josemery dropped out of high school at just 16. Now at 21, with two young children, she said she hopes to be a role model for them in the future.

“When they get older and see all I do they’re going to be very proud of me,” she said.

Both young women told ABC 40 that, although the process was difficult at first, in the end it was more than worth it to provide the best life possible for their families. They encourage any young women who may be apprehensive to take the initial steps.

“It was hard at first but in the end I made my goal I got my high set and I’m ready to move on.”

Esther is finishing up one last test before officially getting her diploma and Josemery said she can’t wait to continue her education at Holyoke Community College and see where it takes her.

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