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NEDP Graduate Stories

For NEDP graduates, completing a high school diploma opens the opportunity to transition to postsecondary education, improve employment options, provide positive role models for their children, and improve their lives in other significant ways.

The personal testimonials below are just a few of the success stories of our graduates.


Pursuing Higher Education, Improving Employment Opportunities,
and Changing Lives!

Grandfather and Grandson Graduate Together

Grandfather and Grandson: Special friendship of 2021 graduates

Joseph Beddia and Ryan Tucker of Rome, New York, share a special bond as grandfather and grandson.

Now, they share another special connection. The two completed their National External Diploma Program earning their high school equivalency diplomas in June with Susan Takacs of the BOCES Consortium of Continuing Education Rome ACCESS Site.

Ryan began thinking of earning his high school equivalency while swimming with his cousins, Emily and Bella one day. Ryan’s “Nonnie,” Deb Beddia, (who retired from the Rome City School District) sprang into action to find what may be available for her grandson.

She called the Rome ACCESS Site that serves adults 16 and older with high school equivalency diploma options. They have a program that would work perfectly for Ryan.

Meanwhile, Joseph, who left school at 18 to work at Rome Strip Steel decided to go along with Ryan “to keep him company and earn our high school equivalencies together.”

By February 2021, Joseph and Ryan enrolled in school, in the middle of a pandemic no less.

Susan Takacs, NEDP Advisor said Joseph never missed an appointment, not surprising since in 38 years at Rome Strip Steel he had never missed a day of work.

Takacs said Ryan was determined, focused, and both worked very hard to complete the program.

The program is task-orientated, and each student’s work goes through a review for accuracy and completeness.

It isn’t easy, Takacs said, but is definitely worth the commitment.  

“We’re so proud of Joseph and Ryan along with all of our high school equivalency graduates. It is their stories that make our jobs so rewarding,” the BOCES announcement added.

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