By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
On Friday, January 27, the Gadsden Job Corps Center honored more than 80 students during its graduation ceremony.
The program began with the processional of graduates and the presentation of colors by Job Corps cadets. Rodney Johnson sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” to a cheering crowd. Business and Community Liason Manager Harold Carpenter gave the Invocation.
Student Representative Jacob Smith gave a welcome speech to the crowd.
“This day marks a milestone in not only the lives of each student that is graduating, but also in the lives of their family and friends,” said Smith. “It has been my prvilege to know some of these students graduating today. In every single one of my fellow students, I see an unlimited amount of potential.”
The keynote speaker was Gadsden Police Officer Mitchell L. James. James is a Gadsden native. He graduated from Emma Sansom High School and went on to obtain a degree in criminal justice from Gadsden State Community College. After graduation, James pursued his “life-long dream of becoming a police officer.” He graduated from the Northeast Alabama Police Academy and joined the Gadsden Police Department. He has since received many awards. In 2014, he ran for the position of City of Gadsden mayor.
In his speech, James emphasized that he understood the challenges the young people graduating faced.
James told the students that life is all about decisions, and that they must make good decisions.
“Not everything that looks good in life is good,” said James.
After James spoke, Career Success Director Corey Dansby recognized the graduates while Job Corps Center Director Eric Jones presented them with their diplomas.
The graduates were also given a rose. After the presentation of diplomas, graduates presented the roses to someone who supported them.
Graduates included Justin Bailey, Jahmal Benu, Tonae Blackmon, Javien Brooks, Mark-Anthony Brown, Melane Byrd, David Champion, Artavuis Clark, Vernie Clement III, Gabrielle Collier, LaGaria Colvin, Gary Corbitt, Jr., LeAndra Cruzado, Anthony Culliver, Crystal Daniel, Wandy Deme, Ashalonte Devorse, Hector Diego, Noah Dillard, Angel Effinger, Amanda Eib, Zane Epley, Deainera Ethredge, Lacardo Felder, Crystal Fowler, Diego Francisco-Antonio, Vintez Gary, Devon Gray, Precious Grimes, Kadeem Haire, Otis Hampton, Brooke Henderson, Lyanne Howard, Nehemiah Hudson, Kenyatta Hutchinson, Jr., De’Christian Inge, Christopher Jackson, Keon Jeter, Drevion Johnson, Lateria Johnson, Gerald Knight, Omar Larmond, Jashaun Lawrence, DeMarcus Lewis, Nykia Marsh, Markell McCall, Desmond McCants, Brandon McCurdy, Domonic McFolley, Nigelia Moody, Catrina Morris, Jumika Nathaniel, Nathan Noisette, Hali Norris, Salissa Owens, Odaliz Pablo, Cordarius Parker, Nehemias Pascual-Jose, Austin Perry, LeDarius Peterson, Korea Phillips, Lashandra Pritchett, Jazmine Purcell, Victoria Roach, Lillian Robinson, Willie Russ, Richardson Saint Jean, Dilleon Scott, Samerra Simmons, Trey Starks, Marquise Suttles, Javarkeious Taylor, Isaiah Tehrani, Luis Then, Matthew Thomas, Kadarius Twyman, Kalvin Vinson, Brianna Walker, Ansen Watson, John White, Robert Williams, Jr., Russell Williams, Kimaia Wilson and Rodney Wilson.