Enthusiasm and purpose filled the atmosphere at the Parker Performing Arts Center Friday evening as Sierra Sands Unified School District’s Adult School graduated 43 of its students.

Sierra Sands Unified School District Superintendent Ernie Bell addressed the graduates and audience at the Adult School graduation. The Adult School allows students to work through high school credits at their own pace, earning a full high school diploma rather than a GED.

"Many of you sitting here tonight could have thrown in the towel years ago, but you didn't," Bell said. "The people who move on in this world are the people who get up and live for the circumstances they want. It takes character to set goals, and to accomplish them."

Sierra Sands Adult School graduating student Christopher Rabaya spoke at his graduation on Friday.

"My kids were my main reason for going back and completing my high school diploma," he said.

Rabaya continued to say that he explained to his 6-year-old daughter that she had to complete her education to make something of her life, but she asked him why he didn't need to finish his. He said he knew right then he had to go back to earn his diploma for her.

"Every single graduate here has faced many obstacles and had different motivations, whether it's employment, wanting to go to college, or a 6-year-old cracking wise with you," Rabaya said.