Massela Encourages Crowd To Show Elephant-like Determination at Lewiston Adult Education Graduation
Student speaker Joao Massela, right, talked to the audience at Lewiston Adult Education graduation on Wednesday night. Lewiston Adult Education Director Bill Grant, left, and Adult Learning Center Coordinator Laurie Champagne, right, listen to the speech.
The student speaker at Lewiston Adult Education graduation urged his classmates and the audience to think of themselves as strong as an elephant to take on new challenges during graduation Wednesday night.
The group of 27 students received their high school equivalency degrees in a ceremony in the Lewiston High School gymnasium.
Joao Massela was the student speaker at the ceremony and stressed the importance of determination.
"Being strong and determined means facing the problem, working to solve it rather than crying and looking for the easy way," he said.
Massela said that his middle name, Zau, means "elephant" and took inspiration from it.
"I want you to be like an elephant too. I would like you to see yourself as strong, no matter the obstacle in front of you. Think that you can make it and never give up," he said.
Massela, who emigrated to the United States from Angola and can speak Portuguese and French, had to learn English before trying to get his high school certification through Lewiston Adult Education. He thanked his teachers, including Laurie Champagne, Mark Schlotterbeck, Don Roux and Amy Hatch for helping him pursue his goals.
Massela also won the Courage to Grow Award from Central Maine Community College.
Esther Kilongo won the Maine Adult Education Association Award. The winner of the award has tuition waived for one course at CMCC in the fall semester.
Instructor Don Roux received recognition for his role in assisting with the 5,000th GED-HiSET graduate at Lewiston Adult Education. Roux helps students prepare before they take their high school equivalency exam.
The students received their high school equivalency by successfully taking the HiSET exam through Lewiston Adult Education. The HiSET has replaced the GED in Maine and the students received lessons and academic support to prepare.
Lewiston Superintendent Bill Webster spoke at the end of the ceremony and encouraged graduates to continue to persevere as they pursue their goals.
by Michael Reagan
on June 6, 2018
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