Tony Gabriel is closer to a better career, thanks to his hard work and support from the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning. This year, 450 adult learners from across Nova Scotia will graduate with their high school diploma. Mr. Gabriel is one of those graduates. He left school to work and, at age 49, the Digby resident decided to go back. Mr. Gabriel plans to enter Nova Scotia Community College’s environmental engineering technician program in the fall. “I didn’t finish high school and, because of health issues, I had to change careers,” said Mr. Gabriel. “I just graduated with my high school diploma and in the fall, I’ll be attending NSCC to begin studying for a new career.” The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning is an initiative of the Department of Education. Since its inception in 2001, about 2,400 Nova Scotians of all ages and backgrounds have graduated with a high school graduation diploma for adults. This year, 51 Nova Scotians will graduate in the western region of the province (Digby and Yarmouth counties). Forty-five have already graduated through the Nova Scotia Community College and six will graduate from programs offered through the Digby and Yarmouth adult high schools of the Tri-County Regional School Board. “The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning is meeting an important need in our province,” said Karen Casey, Minister of Education. “We know that 38 per cent of Nova Scotian adults have low levels of literacy and we are working to change that. “Literacy skills are not only the key to a better life, they are essential to development of a skilled workforce for our province. I congratulate all the graduates for taking steps to improve their education and career opportunities.” The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning co-ordinates a range of education programs for adults who want to improve their literacy skills, or complete their high school diploma. Programs are tuition-free and offered at more than 150 sites across the province in partnership with NSCC, regional school boards, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations. “This was another great year,” said Arthur Hatt, principal, Digby Adult High School. “I congratulate and honour the graduates on their achievements. I wish them well.” Mr. Gabriel will receive his diploma at the graduation ceremony for the Tri-County Regional School Board on Wednesday, June 27, 7 p.m. at Digby Regional High School, 107 King St., Digby.