TEMPO coordinator reacts after program sets graduation record

TEMPO set another record for graduates with 122 people, beating the record set last year.
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 4:51 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2022 at 6:27 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Tallahassee Engaged in Meaningful Productivity for Opportunity program set a new record for graduates with 122 people, beating the record set last year.

“With more success we have, they’re telling their loved ones and their friends and their family members, and we’re having a lot of success through word of mouth from individuals,” said TEMPO Development Coordinator Ariel McPherson.

The program was created five years ago and is designed to serve “disconnected youth” within the community between the ages of 16 and 24, McPherson said.

The program allows people to receive a GED diploma, taking classes like social studies, math, literature and science.

McPherson said most of the students are taking their classes through the Adult Community and Education School, which is affiliated with Leon County Schools, or through the organization’s partnership with Tallahassee Community College.

“Individuals come to us in different aspects of their lives,” McPherson said. “There are those who are 16 years old, minors 16 to 18. They have a different set of needs than those who are adults.”

Of the 122 graduates this year, McPherson said that 68 of them received their GED diploma, and another 54 received a technical certificate.

McPherson said there were hurdles along the way for many participating in the program.

“But that came from a lot of beating the streets as well as meeting with individuals one on one,” McPherson said.

McPherson said in the program’s history, 319 people who graduated through the program have gone on to pursue a higher level of education, and another 360 people received jobs after completing the TEMPO program.

The program is fully funded by the city of Tallahassee.

“To see the life changes that come about when individuals have received some kind of gainful employment, it’s just a wonderful thing to see,” McPherson said.

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