More than 180 Students walked across the stage at our 2017 LARE Institute Graduation Celebration, held June 15 at LARE Institute in Andover.
Please check out news coverage of the event in Rumbo News, July 1, 2017 edition, page 1 and 11.
It was a proud evening for all, as our LARE Institute family was joined by Students’ families, friends, the area and state DTA offices, and more!
American Training President and CEO Tom Connors welcomed the students, telling them that what they’ve accomplished at LARE is just the start. “Nothing can stop you from becoming who you want to be.”
Commissioner Jeff McCue of the MA DTA served as the Guest speaker, offering inspiring words for the graduates and encouraging them to engage in two tasks. He urged them to keep it up, to keep growing, keep reaching for more. And to tell their stories.
“Everyone faces struggles at some point in maintaining their motivation. Your stories are proof that with the right supports and the right work ethic, you can accomplish anything,” he said.
Six Students spoke at the graduation, sharing their inspiring stories.
Natalia De Souza spoke about the three C’s in life; Choice, Chance, Change. “You must make the choice to take the chance, if you want anything in life to change,” she told her fellow graduates.
At a young age, Natalia started worked at a McDonald’s, eventually working her way up to assistant manager. Making decent money and wanting more hours, Natalia dropped out of high school in 11th grade, with the hope of earning more to help her parents pay their bills.
In her early twenties, she found increasing difficulty finding a job to support herself and her three children. That was when she enrolled at LARE, seeking her HiSET (GED).
“I did it. I got my HiSET,” she said. “I made the choice, took the chance, and made a change in my life for a brighter future.”
Sok Yoeun was proud as she spoke of her new apartment and incredible job in her chosen field. “I went from having nothing to getting a beautiful place that my sons and I now call home,” she said.
The mother of two graduated from LARE’s Medical Assisting program “with a job I love, great pay, and it’s close to home.”
For 20 years, Curtis Carravallo worked in the landscaping and construction field. He did everything from irrigation installation to hardscape construction to working as a hoisting engineer, operating heavy equipment. Then, in late 2012, Curtis had an accident at work that caused him to lose the vision in his right eye.
He was unable to continue the work he had planned to retire from, the career field he had known his whole adult life. Anxious to get back to work, but in need of a career change, Curtis enrolled in LARE’s Medical Assisting program. He graduated as a certified MA and is now working at Children’s Health Care.
“The staff at LARE Institute is exceptionally helpful, thorough, knowledgeable, understanding, and the reason why I am extremely successful at my job,” he said.
Lady Luciano, a graduate of the Medical Assisting program, told her fellow graduates of her life before LARE. “I was going through the worst time in my life – personally, professionally, and financially.” She was homeless with two small children, living at a shelter, grieving the loss of her mother who had recently lost her battle with cancer.
“I put all my energy and concentration in school and I focused on being the very best student I could be,” she said. “I wanted to make my mom and my children so proud of me.”
Lady earned her HiSET before graduating from the CNA program. But that wasn’t all. “I never stopped trying to improve my current situation,” she said.
Lady got her driver’s license and a car, passed her CNA state test, got a job at American Training, and moved out of the shelter into a beautiful apartment.
“Today I feel proud of myself for being able to accomplish the goals that I have set. I know that my children are proud and will always know that Mommy didn’t give up and I know that my beautiful mom is smiling at me from heaven,” she added before thanking her LARE family for making her a better person and always believing in her.
For 22-year-old Aprile Medina, LARE gave her the start she needed for the bright future she’s planning. The mother of one enrolled at LARE, with the goal of earning her HiSET, but realized she wanted more. After completing her HiSET, she enrolled in the CNA program, earning her certification. Still, Aprile wants more. “I hope one day I can climb the ladder and become a nurse or doctor like I dreamed of as a little girl.”
She thanked her classmates and fellow graduates for their support along the way. “After this long journey, I would love to give LARE, DTA, and my family a big thank you for being here me…I found happiness, love, and future at the end of the light. Thank you.”
Jamie Johnson spent twelve years working in finance before deciding she wanted to do something that would help others. She enrolled at LARE in the pharmacy technician program where she worked hard to earn her certification.
As she stood before the crowd, she said, “The moment you ever find yourself questioning your ability to succeed, remember this: when we were first learning to walk or get around on our own; we all fell, we cried, we struggled. We all got right back up too and today, we celebrate standing. Standing tall and even running. To the class of 2017 though, I say let’s make history by flying.”
Our Students then marched across the stage before switching their tassels in unison, marking their end as LARE Students and start as LARE alums. Congratulations Graduates!
Check out photos of the graduation, Students celebrating with their families, and more below, with a full album of photos here!