James finally found a school where he could focus in classes and develop a good routine. It wasn’t at a regular school, however, but the Vantage Pointe Learning Center.
Based at the Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility on the grounds of Logansport State Hospital, the school serves Indiana juvenile males ages 12-17 through the Indiana Department of Correction.
James was one of 18 students graduating Friday who passed the Test Assessing Secondary Completion. It is the new equivalent to the general education degree, better known as the GED.
Richard Richardson, supervisor of education, said 28 of 30 students passed the TASC exam since it replaced the GED on Jan. 1. He also added the school has about five graduations annually.
“Most of these parents never thought they’d see these students in a graduation cap and gown after what they’ve been through at home,” Richardson said. “So it’s a healing for them.”
U.S. Congressman Todd Rokita, R-Indiana, was the keynote speaker for Friday’s graduation. He challenged each graduate to strive toward a good future and path in life that gave back to others.
“Where will you choose to be? The choice is up to you. I hope you choose the right path,” Rokita said. “Help prevent the next generation of kids in your community from making the same mistakes.”
Darrell and Nila traveled from Bloomington to see James graduate. James said he had trouble focusing in high school and pleaded with his mother to take him out of school.
“I did take him out of school and he promised me he’d get his GED within the year,” Nila said. “And I said, ‘James, you’ve got to get it within a year. If you don’t, I will enroll you back in school and I’ll go sit with you in every class.’”