The Arc Gateway PALS Graduation

Twenty-six students graduated from The Arc Gateway Program for Adult Learning and Support (PALS) on Friday, December 15, 2017, at Pensacola State College in Pensacola. PALS is a two-year post-secondary education program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities made possible by an appropriation from the State of Florida. The goal of PALS is to provide substantial and relevant experiences within an inclusive college setting that leads to meaningful employment. During the two years, 60 internships were completed and eight of the students are already employed.

Latiffia Byrant, one of the PALS graduates, led the Pledge of Allegiance. Dr. C. Edward Meadows, president of Pensacola State College, expressed his joy in having the students on campus as they are always smiling as they walk around the campus. He recognized and thanked the ARC Gateway Board of Directors for a partnership of which he is proud.

Adam Langham gave the PALS student address. He expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to experience college life and thanked everyone who was a part of this life changing experience. His internship in the community led him to his perfect job and he is now employed.

Quint Studer, Founder of the Studer Foundation, gave the commencement address. He thanked former State Senator Don Gaetz and Belle Bear, a community volunteer and philanthropist, for their dedicated efforts in bringing the funding to the area. Studer is a strong believer in optimizing everyone’s human potential. His advice to the students was “don’t take things personally, don’t assume, and do the best job you can.”

Each graduate received certificates of completion in their fields of interests. Misty Mosley is now a State of Florida licensed Nail Technician. Family, friends, and staff welcomed the new graduates with a reception after the ceremony.

Quint Studer, Founder of the Studer Foundation, gave the commencement address.