Tuesday night a graduation at Milwaukee Area Technical College proved hard work and determination pays off. The ceremony was for students who received their GED or HSED.
"I am feeling amazing. This has been a long road and I am so happy that I finally accomplished my goal. I never gave up," said Penny Stewart, YWCA Program.
Forty-seven-year-old Penny Stewart sat through many graduation ceremonies.
"I watched all of my kids get through college, get married, live their lives and now it was my turn," Stewart said.
This time family was there to watch Stewart receive her High School Equivalency Diploma.
"I'm very proud of my mom she's talked about this forever and I'm just glad she finally did it," said Julienne Jager, a graduate's daughter.
"I'm humbly grateful right now that I finally got to this step and now I can move forward. I want to go to college," Stewart said.
Kyara Rodriguez dropped out of high school because she was bullied. It has only been a year, but for the 18-year-old it has felt like an eternity.
"I wanted to accomplish things for myself and prove to my brothers and sisters that if I can do good they can do good too and follow my path," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez's family watched as she walked across the stage to get her GED.
"She did it, she did it she's going places now," said Siulka Tories, a graduate's mom.
Rodriguez plans to attend MATC next month.
"She pulled through and she did it and she did it on her own," said Christian Chairez, a graduate's boyfriend.
Keynote speaker Senator Lena Taylor told the graduates, "when you move your tassel know you're going to a new level."
"The sky's the limit now," Stewart said.
Tonight's graduates came from MATC and nine community-based educational partners.