Seven young people graduate from Achievement Academy of Durham

November 15, 2017
Graduate and graduation speaker Antigonne Kelley celebrates with Made in Durham Transition Support Strategist Rotcelis Morales Jones and fellow graduate Lashaunda Grissom.

By Allie Brown, Achievement Academy of Durham

Achievement Academy of Durham honored seven young adults in November for earning their high school equivalency diploma.

Graduate Antigonne Kelley spoke on the keys to her success at the academic recovery program, one of four Made in Durham partner schools piloting innovative educational practices that can help more Durham youth graduate from high school and transition to post-secondary programs.

Reliable attendance and showing up on time, every time, are key, said Kelley, who was never late or absent during her tenure at the school. Kelley continues to participate in enrichment activities at the school several times a week while she prepares to enroll at Durham Technical Community College.

The ceremony was particularly special for three graduates who began in the school’s Starting Points literacy program. Students who read below the ninth-grade reading level at orientation join Starting Points. These students work one-on-one with trained, volunteer tutors until their reading reaches the high school level and they matriculate into GED classes. GED classes are taught by experienced teachers in classes that range in size from three to eight students. The students who joined the program in Starting Points demonstrated particular persistence and determination in making it to this important milestone.

“Despite what some people assume, the GED is not a shortcut or an easy way out,” said Achievement Academy Director Nancy Cox. “It is a rigorous, academically challenging exam. We at Achievement Academy are immensely proud of our resilient students who overcame all the obstacles that stood between them and their educational goals.”

For more information about connecting young adults to academic recovery support, contact Made in Durham Re-engagement Specialist Dominique Oliver at


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Made in Durham is a community partnership of educators, business, government, youth-serving nonprofits and young people mobilized around a shared vision that all of Durham’s youth will complete high school and a post-secondary credential and begin a rewarding career by the age of 25.
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