Gala Celebrates Adult Education Students
The Brevard Adult and Community Education Gala will soon have its second annual celebration designed to honor the adult learners in our community. This year’s celebration will take place on April 12 from 6-9 p.m. at the Cocoa Civic Center. All adult education students are invited for an evening of dinner and dancing. Students may come free of charge, while guests and community members can purchase tickets for $10.
“The premise of the gala is to showcase adult learners,” said Lorri Benjamin, director of adult and community education for Brevard Public Schools. “It is a formal event for our students. It is also an event for all the faculty of Brevard Public Schools, as well as those who work for Brevard Adult and Community Education. We also invite local dignitaries and the community. We want the community to see the wonderful students that we have in adult education and what adult education offers.”
In addition to highlighting the accomplishments of the students, the gala also serves as a fundraiser. This year, the event’s focus is on raising money for scholarships to offset the cost of the SAT, the ACT, or other required tests for adult learners. These test scores help students with graduation and/or certification requirements. Unfortunately they are expensive tests for learners who may have income constraints.
Community members can support the Brevard Adult and Community Education Department by attending the gala, donating items for the silent auction, or simply making a cash donation. The event is truly a labor of love put on by the department’s dedicated staff.
“This is fully put on by the teachers and staff of Brevard Adult and Community Education,” Benjamin said. “We serve the food, we do all the decorating… it’s really a grassroots gala that turns out really beautiful. We don’t have a huge budget so we are hoping the community sees what we are doing and that it grows as the years progress.”
The department serves more than 1,500 students enrolled in a variety of programs, including English as a second language, GED programs, adult high school, and an array of integrated educational training programs that allow students on-the-job training.
“We celebrate resilience. That is the word for adult education,” Benjamin said. “Whatever it was in their life that provided obstacles for them, they chose to come back to school and they are either elevating their lives through academic education, workforce education, or language acquisition.”