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Determined to succeed: Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES student named a 2016 NYACCE Student of the Year

What does it take to be recognized as an Adult Education Student of the Year?


That’s a characteristic Sharon Porter has displayed throughout her educational journey despite a variety of personal setbacks.

Sharon, a recent Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES (CO BOCES) Adult Education student, was named a 2016 New York Association for Continuing/Community Education (NYACCE) Student of the Year during a ceremony in Albany on Oct. 26. Twenty-one students from across the state were recognized by NYACCE. 

In their nomination letter, CO BOCES Adult High School Equivalency Instructor Jennifer Kent-Isaacs and Case Manager Jennifer Driscoll described Sharon’s determination. “She never gives up on anything she sets her mind to. She worked on her High School Equivalency at Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES in Auburn, New York. Thanks to funding from ACCES-VR, Sharon also participated in the Business Careers Program where she obtained computer foundational skills. Sharon has struggled with school all her life due to a severe learning disability but her determination is truly inspiring and she never gave up. Sharon started in the program in 2003 and obtained her HSE diploma in December 2015. We are proud that Sharon has overcome so many barriers throughout her schooling.”

NYACCE is a statewide association that provides information and support for professionals serving the needs of lifelong learners.  The organization honored Sharon, in addition to other outstanding adult students, during its 33rd annual Student Awards Ceremony.

“I am very honored to be receiving this award,” Sharon shared during her acceptance speech. “I want to thank NYACCE for giving me this award and honoring all the students who are here tonight. I also would like to thank New York State for funding adult programs like the one at Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES in Auburn so people like me can get their diplomas free of charge. I finally would like to thank Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES for helping me achieve my goals.  In high school I was labeled as mentally retarded and told by so many that I would not be able to get my diploma. The people at BOCES gave me so much support and confidence and I knew I could do it. I started going to BOCES in 2007 and never lost hope. I was determined to get my diploma and Jennifer Kent-Isaacs and Jennifer Driscoll at BOCES always encouraged me everyday to keep going.”  

Sharon is currently looking for part-time employment and wants to be active in her community.

Congratulations, Sharon! On behalf of Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES’ administrators, faculty, staff, board of education, students, and community, we are extremely proud of you!

Student of the Year Sharon Porter (center) is joined by Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES Adult High School Equivalency Instructor Jennifer Kent-Isaacs (right) and Case Manager Jennifer Driscoll (left) at the NYACCE awards ceremony on Oct. 26.





Brian K. Hartwell, Ed.D.
District Superintendent of Schools

1879 West Genesee Street Rd.
Auburn, NY 13021
Phone: (315) 253-0361

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