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Delayed, But Not Denied

News Desk | 8/14/2014, 4:29 p.m.
The evening concluded with dancing to music from DJ Rick Murray.
Get on Track and Project Learn having a Prom for their graduates. Photo by James W. Wade III

Prom for high school dropouts a first

It was a perfect summer night for a prom and this was a very special one.

The graduates had waited a long time for this day, one they thought they may never see.

They were high school dropouts, some in trouble with the law, but they’ve managed to turn their lives around. And this past weekend, they celebrated.

Several dozen graduates of two programs designed to promote adult literacy got the opportunity to attend their prom, Sat., Aug. 9.

The palatial residence on South Woodland was the ideal setting for the occasion. The formal event took place at the home of Tyrone McGuinea in Shaker Heights, Ohio. McGuinea’s sister, Sandra Garth is the Education First Program Director of Project LEARN, an adult education center that has achieved national attention in its field.

“Even though they didn’t graduate from a traditional school, they deserve to go to the prom they missed. Many of these students are now parents and an event like this sets a good example for their children,” said Garth, who plans to make this a yearly event.

A reception to honor the graduates and guests opened the evening as they partook of delectable canapés, hors d'oeuvres and liquid refreshments. Following a full course dinner, they heard remarks from their hostess Sandra Garth, Judges Emanuella Groves and Lauren Moore, Michael Nelson, Esq. and class representatives Carmella Seals and Victor Winston.

The evening concluded with dancing to music from DJ Rick Murray.

Many of the attendees where graduates of the Cleveland Municipal Court’s Get on Track Program, which began in 2006. It targets high school dropouts who ended up with a misdemeanor charge.

“The theme, ‘Delayed, But Not Denied’ was so appropriate for this. As a judge, we deal with the negative things that occur in the community, so it’s certainly wonderful to participate in an event that truly celebrates accomplishment,” said Moore.