YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — It was a second chance for three young men and women to earn their high school diplomas.
Daitzel Moore knows first-hand how tough it is to try and make it without a high school diploma.
“It was rough, I mean jobs turned me down and everything like that, because of my age, I mean,” said Daitzel Moore, a graduate of the program.
Moore saw a sign for The Academy for Urban Scholars and decided to register.
A few months later, he’s got his high school diploma at the age of 20.
Along with Breyona Grier and Desiree Nieves, this trio makes up Academy for Urban Scholars’ first graduating class.
“I’m really happy and excited cause I finally am graduating, and I just want to let everybody know they can do it too,” Nieves said.
“We believe one size fits few,” said Kevin Ellerbe, assistant director for the Academy for Urban Scholars.
The Academy for Urban Scholars offers students individual attention and different paths to earn their diplomas.
They’ll even go out into the community to find young men and women who for whatever reason dropped out, or didn’t graduate.
“We have individuals that will go to their homes, to knock on their doors and let them know, you have to get that paper, because it makes such a difference in your life whether you have your degree or not,” said Ellerbe.
The graduates gave a rose to the person who most helped them get to this moment.
There were inspirational messages from school and city leaders, as well as cake.
Moore said he’s a little disappointed in himself for not graduating on time.
But now he’s overcome with tears of joy.
“I made it. Next step for me, either school or the military to be honest. Most likely it’s going to be the Navy,” said Moore.
Nieves said she wants to go to college for physical therapy.
Any student ages 14 to 22 can register with The Academy for Urban Scholars, and work to earn their high school diploma in several different ways.
There will be another commencement ceremony in June.