Independent study option leads to a world of opportunity for ILC high school
graduates, 17 to 62 years of age

TORONTO, Nov. 20 /CNW/ - Tomorrow, the Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Ontario Minister of Education will participate in the annual Independent Learning Centre (ILC) Graduation and Awards Ceremony.

While the ceremony will be familiar, featuring gowns, grand music and the presentation of awards and certificates, this is not your typical high school graduation. The graduates will travel from all corners of Ontario to attend and range in age from 17 to 62 years of age, and the ceremony is being held at the Royal Ontario Museum.

The annual ILC Graduation and Award Ceremony is a formal occasion to recognize and celebrate the achievements of learners who have earned their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) through distance study with the Independent Learning Centre. The ceremony will also honour the top-scoring General Education Development (GED) test writers who have earned their Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate.

Sarah Irwin, Managing Director of the ILC, describes the annual ceremony as both emotional and motivating. "More than ever, in today's world, credentials open doors. Imagine how limiting the options are for people who lack a high school diploma. Now, imagine the feeling of elation and opportunity when the moment of convocation arrives! Each year, the ILC ensures that for those who graduate through us, that moment is particularly special and grants their efforts and determination the recognition they merit," she says.

The motivation of the honourees and the path that led them to the programs and services offered by ILC are as diverse as the individuals themselves. The graduating class includes adult learners, career changers, and students bound for and currently enrolled in post-secondary education programs.

Starr Campagnaro, 21, of Cambridge will address the class as the ILC class valedictorian. Personal circumstances made her transition to high school turbulent. Following three years of difficult study at day school, she enrolled with the ILC in 2006. "Since I was a small girl I dreamed of attending my local university". Campagnaro started pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree and the University of Guelph in September. She adds, "The self-determining structure and academic standards expected by the ILC has helped me tremendously in my day-to-day life at university. I have come to appreciate learning as a responsibility, one that is only as exciting as I make it."

Brenda Towedo, 50, of Ottawa, will be honoured with the Robert Hogan Award. This award recognizes the achievement of an adult learner who has overcome significant challenges and adversity to complete their high school education. Towedo is a single mother of two, forced to leave school early. Without a high school diploma, she struggled at odd jobs trying to make a better life for her family, but she knew that an education was the only solution. Towedo describes herself as "an independent learner by choice." adding, "ILC has taught me a lot of valuable lessons and has given me a second chance. I believe education is the key to all aspects of life whether big or small, or who you are. And today I am a high school graduate."

About the Independent Learning Centre

The Independent Learning Centre (ILC) is the province's designated provider of accredited distance education and the exclusive provider of General Educational Development (GED) testing in Ontario. Funded by the Ministry of Education, the ILC provides an alternative source of public education including credit courses, student support and granting the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Since 2001 TVO ( has administered the Independent Learning Centre. For more information, visit


For further information: For further information: Lise Leclair, Senior Communications and Marketing Officer, (416) 484-2600 x2306, (416) 433-8004 (cell),; Carolyn Weckesser, Marketing, Manager, (416) 484-2600 x2018, (416) 529-4630 (cell),

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