DECATUR, Georgia (WJBF) – The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) held its annual spring high school commencement ceremony for youth enrolled in the DJJ School System.

The ceremony took place on Friday, May 27th where 24 high school diplomas and 15 General Equivalency Degree (GEDs) diplomas were given out to these qualifying students.

“We are committed to providing an education that empowers life-long learners to reach their potential and become college and career-ready,” says DJJ Commissioner Tyrone Oliver. “Obtaining a high school diploma or GED is an important achievement that will help guide them on a path towards achieving their goals and a bright future.”

DJJ facilities with graduates included the Atlanta, Eastman, Augusta, Milledgeville, Macon, and Muscogee YDCs, Gainesville, Metro, Waycross, Rome, and Cadwell RYDCs, and Chatham and Muscogee ETCs.

According to officials, the DJJ is the 181st school district in Georgia.

Officials also say that The Georgia Preparatory Academy (GPA) is the district’s middle and high school, and Pathway to Success is the GED program within the school system.

Officials add that the GPA and Pathway to Success are located at 28 campuses within DJJ’s Regional Youth Detention Centers (RYDCs), Youth Development Campuses (YDCs), and Education Transition Centers (ETCs) across Georgia.

Officials say that the DJJ operates GPA with a curriculum that meets the education standards set forth by the Georgia Department of Education for all public schools.

“We are very pleased that the hard work of our teachers and students is evident this semester with 24 high school graduates and 15 GED graduates,” says Zane Shelfer, DJJ Deputy Superintendent of Schools.

Authorities say that following graduation, each student who remains in DJJ custody at a secure facility is enrolled in the Connections Graduate Program (CGP), which is designed to prepare the youth for college or a career.

CGP instructors specialize in educational and employability development.