Recipients were encouraged to continue their education.

AUBURN – Citing their persistence, hard work and achievement, the Central Maine Technical College Adult Education Partnership has presented the first annual Courage to Grow Awards to outstanding participants in adult education programs in Androscoggin, Franklin, Oxford, Knox, Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties.

College President Scott Knapp encouraged the recipients to continue their education and to make it possible, he offered each of them free tuition and fees for one course at the college. He noted that if they enter in the fall, they will be able to be part of the first class at Central Maine Community College.

Among the recipients is Richard Parker Sr., who was selected by Vocational Region 9 in Rumford/Mexico. Parker, 60, returned to complete his high school education after spending his working life in the woods of northern Oxford County.

He came to the Adult Education Center with his son, who had determined to leave high school before graduation. He and the adult education staff persuaded the son to enroll in the General Educational Development program.

But then it was his turn. On June 6, Parker and his son will graduate from the Adult Education program. Parker, now working on his autobiography, will be the speaker.

Another recipient is Melinda Stewart of Oxford Hills Adult and Community Education in South Paris. Stewart attended the awards ceremony with her mother, Beverly McAllister, and her daughter, Tianna McNeil. Her instructors said she is “very level-headed, motivated and self-reliant. Despite difficult circumstances she has stayed focused and is a “great mom.” Stewart hopes to enroll in the graphic arts program at Central Maine Community College in the fall.

Other recipients include Gerald Bailey, Wiscasset; Thomas Brackett, SAD 9; HopeCampbell, Jay-Livermore Falls; Susan Cox, River Valley; Jenny Crociotto, Bath; Susan Day, SAD 44; Linda Fennell, Oak Hill; Mark Guyette, Mechanic Falls/Poland; Christina Kelley, Lewiston; Shellina Langer, Richmond; Sara Mulholland, Rangeley; Donna Pelletier, Auburn; Kristal Pelkey, SAD 50; Sandra L. Smith, Merrymeeting; Robert Wallace, Union 74; Ruth A. White, Lisbon.

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