Graduation ceremony held for young moms at Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A graduation ceremony is being held at the Wistariahurst Museum for twelve young mothers who attended The Care Center in Holyoke for their HiSET (GED) exam.

Students are being honored in front of approximately 100 people in attendance Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. with speaker Holyoke’s State Representative Pat Duffy and The Care Center Valedictorian Christina Cislak.  

Class Valedictorian Christina Citlak told 22News how the Care Center has helped turn her life around, “College and I want to set up a business. I’m an artist, and just keep going from there.”

“It is so much fun to watch the young women come here, have a good sense of what they do and watch them evolve from that moment to today,” said Anne Teschner, Executive Director of Care Center.

The Care Center 2021 Graduates

  1. Jaidelice Arroyo
  2. Haley Barber
  3. Christina Cislak
  4. Ashlee Collins
  5. Odalys Colon
  6. Ilyana Muler
  7. Alexis Paul
  8. Stephany Rodriguez
  9. Sylvia Torres
  10. Aaliyah Santana
  11. Erica Santos
  12. Lenializ Williams

“This may be the last graduation in the Valley this year but not the least inspiring by a long shot.  These graduates are extraordinary young women who give us all us reason to feel optimistic about our future as a country. All have dropped out of school, are involved with the welfare system, and returned to their educational path to pass the HiSET exam and the majority (more than 75%)  will continue on to college.  And they did this through the pandemic while caring for their children. These young women have much to contribute to this community, their families and the world.” says Teschner. 

The Care Center offers academic classes in preparation for the HiSET and college, cultural and artistic programming, on-site daycare, on-site free college, counseling, assistance with the transition to higher education, and door-to-door transportation. The classes were held virtually and in-person this year.

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