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Lives changed, futures brightened

Tallahassee's TEMPO program graduates its largest class since the program began
Posted at 10:21 PM, Jun 27, 2024
  • TEMPO celebrates the largest graduating class since the program started in 2017
  • The program helps teens and young adults get back on track with educational and job opportunities
  • Watch the video above to hear from graduating students and others about the milestone.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT

The City of Tallahassee's TEMPO program is graduating its largest class of G-E-D students yet!

I’m Terry Gilliam your SW Tallahassee neighborhood reporter.

I'm tracking how this program is having positive impact on our community.

“I’m here today because I have made a great accomplishment in my life!”

It's the Tallahassee Engaged in Meaningful Productivity for Opportunity program.

TEMPO for short.

The program looks to reconnect at-risk youth and young adults to educational and employment opportunities.

Thursday night celebrates the largest graduating class since the program started.

Trenton Flores is one of these graduates.

“I have been through some ups and downs but today is the day I celebrate.”

159 students will graduate from the city of Tallahassee’s TEMPO program, 90 of them will walk across the stage with their GED. The 60 other students are getting technical certificates from Lively Technical College, Tallahassee Community College, and Florida Health and Science Consulting. Fields include welding, commercial driving, and more.

Flores is receiving his certificate in welding. I asked him if he saw this day coming.

“Three years ago with my drug addiction, I never thought this day would ever come. Never thought it would come.”

Here you see graduation stoles, white indicating GED grads and yellow for technical certificates.

I asked Dr. Kimball Thomas, who’s with the City of Tallahassee, what this graduation means for those students and the community.

“My hope is those who are getting their GED’s will move on now and go into college and expand their horizons. Those who are getting their certifications will go and do their CDL’s and other professions and live the life the American dream has for them.

“You see young people and they dropped out of school and they’re looking for opportunities, don’t look at them as a problem; look at them as an opportunity.

While students like Flores also walk away with the experience of a lifetime.

“With the TEMPO program and these people here with me has been such a great memory in my life that I will never forget.

Thursday's graduating class is the seventh cohort since TEMPO began in 2017 with 12 students. In Southwest Tallahassee, Terry Gilliam, ABC27.