MOUNT VERNON — Samuel “Sam” Johnson and his proud family were all very happy and excited Monday when he was awarded his high school diploma in a short ceremony at the Knox Technical Center.
Johnson, at age 27, had been one of the 7,000 individuals in Knox County over age 25 without a diploma. He said it feels really good to finally have a high school diploma.
“A lot of promises fulfilled now,” he told the News.
Johnson experienced several stops and starts along the way toward a high school diploma. He attempted to go the GED route, but work requirements made that difficult. He said he found out about the Adult Diploma Program online, thought it was “cool,” and signed up for the program, choosing the STNA (state-tested nurse’s side) course as the vehicle for his aspirations because he always wanted to help people.
Johnson is the first person to graduate from the ADP, and Barb Harris, ADP coordinator, who told everyone at the ceremony that she was very pleased to present Sam with his diploma. Calling him the program’s shining star, Harris said, “He was always upbeat, even when a uniform mishap occurred. He put a lot of effort into the fast-paced program, (which lasted three weeks) and passed the class, aced his Workkeys tests and earned the state nursing credential. We are so happy for him.”