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MAINE DIPLOMA HONOREE 

THERE WERE MORE THAN 14-THOUSAND HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES IN MAINE LAST YEAR…..

BUT THIS YEAR THERE IS ONE YOUNG WOMAN WHO HAS THE DISTINCT HONOR OF BEING HANDED THE FIRST-EVER &quot:MAINE DIPLOMA&quot:…..

THE AWARD WAS GIVEN AT A CEREMONY AT THE BLAINE HOUSE IN AUGUSTA TODAY, WITH HOPES THAT THE NEGATIVE STEREOTYPING OF ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION CAN BE ERASED…..

&quot:To bestow upon Chelsea J. Edgar, her high school diploma.&quot:

HER ENERGY IS INVIGORATING, HER MOTIVATION, INSPIRING. IN FOUR YEARS THIS YOUNG WOMAN FROM WHITEFIELD HAS EARNED AN EDUCATION ONCE THOUGHT OUT OF REACH.

&quot:Time to turn this around.&quot:

18 YEAR OLD CHELSEA EDGAR TURNED THINGS AROUND ALRIGHT…

&quot:My dad died when I was very young, I was 10 and I wasn’t able to grieve the proper way, I didn’t know how to grieve.&quot:

WHICH LED TO ANXIETY PROBLEMS. EDGAR SAYS HER IMMUNE FALTERED. SHE GOT SICK A LOT AND MISSED A LOT OF SCHOOL. ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION GOT HER BACK ON TRACK FRESHMAN YEAR…

&quot:it’s not for anybody. My program was not like, oh, let’s baby you the whole time let me hold your hand.&quot:

EDGAR SAYS THE STIGMA SURROUNDING THE WORD, ALTERNATIVE MAKES HER MAD.

&quot:attending alternative education does not mean we’re slow, stupid or any of those things. It means we learn differently.&quot:

A YEAR AGO EDGAR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN HANDED HER DIPLOMA BECAUSE SHE WAS NOT TECHNICALLY ATTENDING A HIGH SCHOOL, BUT A NEW LAW LETS THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ISSUE DIPLOMAS TO STUDENTS WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED EDUCATIONAL DISRUPTION AS LONG AS THEY PROVE THAT THEY MEET STATE STANDARDS…

&quot:Some of these young people might be hospitalized, incarcerated or have been homeless.&quot:

&quot:I think alternatives when done right help supplement, help those areas for the kids that can’t make it through the regular setting.&quot:

DURING THE BLAINE HOUSE CEREMONY TEARS WERE SHED…

&quot:I am very proud of Chelsea.&quot:

A MOTHER, SO PROUD HER DAUGHTER NEVER LET GO OF HER DREAMS.

&quot:I followed my dreams I didn’t let them go no matter what I made them my own. (chelsea smiling.)

EDGAR HAS PLANS TO ATTEND KENNEBEC VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE IN THE FALL TO STUDY MASSAGE THERAPY…..