BIDDEFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Students who had dropped out of high school received their high school equivalency Friday along with words of praise from Senator Susan Collins.

Collins congratulated the students for overcoming life's obstacles and referred to her personal experience of losing the governor's race in 1994.

This is the third graduating class of the YouthBuild Biddeford program.

8 students completed 9 months of academic training and counseling that provided them with a high school equivalency or job certification.

Graduate Damien Weaver of Biddeford had dropped out of high school to raise two children. He joined the YouthBuild Biddeford program and managed to graduate on-time with members of his high school class.

YouthBuild Biddeford is funded by a Department of Labor grant and delivered in partnership with Biddeford Housing Authority and LearningWorks of Portland.

LearningWorks provides program development and support, based on their successful experience with YouthBuilding Alternatives.

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