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The Social Enterprise and Training (SEAT) Center in Schenectady recognized forty young adults who have overcome educational and personal obstacles and completed SEAT’s career training programs. These graduates will now realize a future filled with bright career opportunities at companies throughout the Capital Region. These programs culminated in a special graduation and recognition ceremony on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 in the Carl B. Taylor Auditorium at SUNY Schenectady.

Thirty-three YouthBuild Schenectady @ SEAT program graduates donned caps and gowns and crossed the Commencement stage accompanied by Pomp and Circumstance and formally turned their tassels recognizing their graduation. An additional 7 students who have completed the Train Up @ SEAT program were acknowledged for successfully concluding construction and emergency medical technician career programs. All students were recognized for their commitment and dedication to personal and professional development.

Along with family, friends, SEAT alumni, and sponsors, the community was invited to attend the ceremony, with keynote speaker Michael Parker. Michael serves as the Dean of Students and YouthBuild Program Coordinator at Youth Action YouthBuild East Harlem, the site of the original YouthBuild program and birthplace of the international YouthBuild movement.

“Graduation may have seemed unobtainable for YouthBuild Schenectady students, yet today we share this significant milestone in our students’ journey. And for those participants enrolled in our workforce readiness programs, today marks their entry into living-wage positions or the pursuit of additional education. This day celebrates academic and vocational achievements of those who have overcome hurdles and personal challenges to reach this goal. These students’ successes go beyond personal satisfaction and will have deep impacts on their families, the SEAT Center community, and the public at large. At SEAT, we will continue to support our students and do whatever it takes to ensure that these young people have every chance for success,” said Jennifer Lawrence, SEAT Founder and Executive Director.