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NEW HAVEN - The Connecticut Department of Education says one out of every six adult residents of New Haven does not have a high school diploma.

So, the city's Adult Ed program is working hard to re-engage those who have dropped out.

New Haven Adult and Continuing Education is on a major publicity pitch and the young man, who helped create their marketing materials, is a recent college graduate, who actually thought about quitting high school.

Two years ago, as a sophomore at the University of New Haven, Joey Nicklas co-founded Scroll, a software company, which specializes in data security and management. However, his specialty is graphic design. So, he put those skills to work this summer when a former college professor reached out.

“I saw what this was all about and I’m like well I wanna help,” said Nicklas.

In conjunction with his professor, Veronica Douglas-Givan, who works full-time for New Haven Adult and Continuing Education, Nicklas developed the marketing look for Thursday's “No Excuses March For Education.”

“When I was going through high school, I had a lot of trouble getting through and I contemplated dropping out,” Nicklas admitted.

So, he’s giving back, in hopes that some will hear his message of perseverance.

“My sister, as well. She is currently working on her GED. So, this really hits home,” he said.

And, Nicklas believes his visuals are helping create more success stories, like that of a 45-year-old mother of four, who just earned her diploma.

“There’s no more settling,” said Tracey Massey, of New Haven. “There’s no more excuses. I’m going to the top. I’m going where I need to be.”

Some 700 folks, tied to adult ed programs around the state, will be in New Haven Thursday morning. The march kicks off at 9 AM from Adult Ed headquarters and heads all the way to the New Haven Green.

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