Jun 9, 2011

Earning their GEDs opens up new doors for Athens County residents

The Athens County Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) program honored its graduates from the 2010-2011 academic year with a special ceremony held on Friday, June 3 in Chauncey. Graduates from a wide range of ages and backgrounds earned their GEDs through the program at the Athens County Job and Family Services Work Station this year, and a large crowd of family members and friends attended the ceremony to support the graduates.

Several of the graduates explained during the ceremony and after that they will now be continuing their educations in college or taking on new job opportunities.

The three main speakers for the ceremony were graduates Fionna Mobbs, Virginia Moore and Carol Moder. A previous blog post featured a few of the comments from Mobbs and Moore.

Moder explained in her remarks that she had a hard time in school when she was growing up and found out later in life that she had ADHD. She dropped out of school and then went on to work several jobs and raise a family. Because she never earned her degree, though, Moder often had to lie when filling out job applications.

“I said I graduated,” she said. But while she was able to get by without the diploma, she didn’t want her children to have to do the same.

“I emphasized school, school,” Moder said. After some changes with her current job, she learned that if she didn’t provide proof of her degree, she would lose her position.

“Now what was I going to do?” Moder said. “I never dreamed that at 64 I’d need a high school diploma.” She loved her job and the people she worked with, so Moder chose to enroll in the ABLE program at The Work Station so that she could earn her GED. And while she admitted that she still doesn’t understand algebra, Moder said that all of the assistance helped her a great deal and made it possible for her to earn her degree.

“When I found out I passed…I just sobbed and sobbed,” Moder said.

After the ceremony, graduate KaSandra Wallace said that now that she has her GED, she plans to study website design and e-business at Hocking College.

Graduate Charlotte Evans said she was home schooled in Florida, but found out in the last year that she did not have the official degree that she needed for college. The staff members at The Work Station were very helpful in getting her signed up for the GED test and having the test fee waived, and Evans is thankful for all of the assistance. She is also now attending Hocking College.

Robin Crothers also decided to enroll in the GED program so that he could go onto earn his college degree and work in fields that provide more job security. He already has nearly completed his first year of studies in the computer networking program at Hocking College and after he graduates in 2012, he plans to study computer science at Franklin University. Crothers said that teacher Scott Hatfield was particularly helpful, and he was thankful for all of the assistance from the staff members at The Work Station.

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