Grandfather and grandson: Special friendship to 2021 graduates

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Joseph Beddia and Ryan Tucker of Rome share a special bond as grandfather and grandson.

Now, they share another special connection, the two completed their National External Diploma program earning their high school equivalency diplomas in June with Susan Takacs, of the BOCES Consortium of Continuing Education Rome ACCESS Site.  

Ryan began thinking of earning his high school equivalency while swimming with this cousins, Emily and Bella one day. Ryan’s “Nonnie,” Deb Beddia, (who retired from the Rome City School District) sprang into action to find what may be available for her grandson.

She called the Rome ACCESS Site, who serves adults 16 and older with high school equivalency diploma options, and they had a program that would work perfectly for Ryan.

Meanwhile, Joseph, who left school at eighteen to go to work at Rome Strip Steel decided to go along with Ryan “to keep him company and earn their high school equivalencies together.”

By February 2021, Joseph and Ryan were enrolled in school, in the middle of a pandemic no less.

Susan Takacs, NEDP Advisor said that Joseph never missed an appointment, not surprising since in 38 years at Rome Strip Steel he had never missed a day of work.

Takacs said Ryan was determined, focused and both worked really hard to complete the program.

The program is task orientated and the student’s work is reviewed for accuracy and completeness.

It isn’t easy, Takacs said, but is definitely worth the commitment.  

“We’re so proud of Joseph and Ryan along with all of our high school equivalency graduates. It is their stories that make our jobs so rewarding,” the BOCES announcement added.  

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