High school students who thought they may never graduate got to receive their diplomas from Moncton’s Beaverbrook Alternative Education Centre Wednesday evening.

Sixty-eight students walked across a stage and received their grade 12 diplomas.

The centre allows students to work at their own pace. They attend class while also working. 

Jennifer Bastarache's valedictory speech came after years of struggling in school. 

She said she’s had friends pass away and troubles at home that have put school on the back-burner at times.

When Bastarache, now 21, had a son, she felt it was time to finish up with school
    
“I hope that he never gives up and I hope that  he always believes in himself,” she said. “And I hope that he knows no matter how much he struggles that he can succeed and he can be a very successful young man.”

Brenden Doherty, 17, said he got in with the wrong crowd when he was in school. He left home for a time, and was attended various schools.
 
He said the centre allowed him to learn at his own pace and work one-on-one with his teachers. 

“This program is pretty outstanding, the way that the staff treats the students and everything about the program is how it should be,” said Doherty.

Doherty said he wants to go to university to become a physicist.

Bastarache will enter college in the fall.