ALBANY — Albany Technical College held its Spring Commencement at the Albany Civic Center Thursday evening. However, it wasn’t a typical graduation for four young men.

The four studnts were enrolled in the Dougherty County School System students and Albany Technical College. Jonathan Banks, Brennon Farmer, Dexter Hooks and Brandon Johnson picked up associate degrees in Engineering Technology. Two weeks from now, they will walk at their respective high school graduations.

All four are members of Albany Tech’s Titan Alliance Robotics Team.

“This is an amazing feeling,” Banks, a senior at Monroe High School, said. “This experience is of great value to me because I never imagined me standing here tonight.”

Banks plans on majoring in Computer Science at Georgia Southern University.

“Tonight means a lot to me,” Hooks, who is also a senior at Monroe, said. “This will give me a good feeling as to what my high school graduation will be like in a couple of weeks.”

Hooks will attend Savannah State University on a full scholarship and plans to major in Electrical Technology.

Farmer, a senior at Westover, is ready to move on with the next phase of his life.

“This is a big step forward in my life,” he said. “These are the fruits of all our hard work paying off tonight. It proves I have done something with my life.

Farmer said he will attend Mercer University where he plans to major in Computer Engineering.

Johnson, another Westover senior, said the time he spent at Albany Tech opened doors for him.

“I feel like I’ve made a huge accomplishment in my life,” he said. “Everything I’ve worked far so far has pointed toward this moment. I’ve made it big.

He said he is leaning toward attending Georgia Southern and plans on majoring in Electrical Engineering.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle was the commencement speaker. He reminded the graduates that they did not reach this point in their lives alone.

“This is a special moment in your life and you should be proud of your accomplishment,” Cagle said. “This is no small feat for you to reach this point and I am proud of each and every one of you. But always remember that you did not walk this road alone. You had support a lot of different people — family, friends, instructors and many others.

“No one achieves success alone.”

More than 200 candidates for associate degrees, more than 500 candidates for diplomas, and more than 1,000 candidates for technical certificates of credit officially graduated Thursday. Among these graduates, nearly 100 students were honored at an earlier ceremony on the Albany Tech campus earlier in the week with such distinctions as General Education Development highest test scores, Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL), Presidential Scholar, Honors with Distinction, National Technical Honor Society (NTHS), ATC Ambassadors, American Criminal Justice Association Club, Collegiate DECA, Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), Student Government Association (SGA), and SkillsUSA.

In addition, nearly 100 high school students graduated with college credit through Albany Tech’s dual/joint enrollment programs. More than 30 students graduated with their General Education Development.

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