BOCES Class Of 2007 Graduates

By Gabe Osterhout

July 22, 2010 Updated Jun 7, 2007 at 10:38 PM EST

Nearly 435 students and adults enrolled in the career and technical education program graduated Thursday evening.

It was held at the Forum theater in Binghamton.

Students were given a certificate of completion.

They'll also receive a high school diploma at their respective school's graduation ceremony.

Four of these students tonight also received a special scholarship, in honor of an 18 year old girl, who was murdered last year.

These four cosmetology students are the first recipients of the Lisa Tyler Memorial Scholarship through Broome-Tioga BOCES.

Lisa Tyler, a graduate of the BOCES cosmetology school, was shot and killed by her boyfriend last November.

This scholarship, started by Tyler's mother, is a way to shine a light on the problem of teen violence.

"We don't want anymore teen violence. We don't want it to happen to anyone else again. It seems like everyday or every week, there's another one," says Tyler's mother, Valerie Mahoney.

Brittney Lee is one of the award winners.

She says she's honored to be one of the first.

"For me, it's my way of saying you didn't bring me down. I'm strong and I'm going to move past what happened in my childhood and it's kind of like something saying you are strong," says Lee.

This scholarship also aims to teach teens they're important.

Mahoney hopes teens start thinking of themselves first, and stop worryng about pleasing others.

Katie Brandow, another winner, says it's sometimes difficult.

"I think that girls with their self esteem are pretty low and they'll date anything that'll make them feel better about themselves," says Brandow.

Mahoney handed out the award with Tyler's two sisters and brother.

They say Lisa would be happy to know they're helping to fight teen violence, in her memory.

The scholarships range from 150 to 500 dollars.

Mahoney says the family plans to continue giving out the scholarships for years to come.

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