Student Perspective

Living the Dream

Photo front to back: instructor, Lisa Dennis, Haashim Kelly, Kimberly RobbinsHaashim Kelly is an example of a person who is truly living his dream of gaining a GED diploma, acquiring an occupational skill and he is giving back to the community. Haashim will graduate in June with a GED and a diploma in carpentry from Central Georgia Technical College. "It's a dream come true," he says. When Mr. Kelly is not working as an assistant coordinator for Macon Habitat for Humanity, he volunteers twice a week in the Adult Education Program. He loves working with people and sharing knowledge he has gained. Haashim enrolled in the Adult Education Program in 2008. He was skeptical about taking the test until he felt he knew all he needed to pass. His math instructor says he's very passionate about helping other students and advising them to stay in school. We're going to miss him! Although he says he'll continue to volunteer whenever he can.

– Haashim Kelly

Pay it Forward

This is a concept that is based on individuals that receive good deeds, and in turn those individuals pass good deeds on to others that are in need.

Instead of using the phrase "giving back," we use the phrase "paying it forward," and Kimberly Robbins did just that at the Adult Learning Center. Kimberly successfully completed her goal of earning a GED Diploma in January of 2009, and her efforts to meet this achievement were demonstrated by her persistence, dedication, and commitment. After Kimberly completed her goal, she enrolled in Central Georgia Technical College's Dentistry program. When time allows for it, before or between her college courses, Kimberly helps out in the Adult Education Program. She has been a venting mechanism for her former classmates that are frustrated with all that is involved in pursuing a GED Diploma, and she has also tutored them in math. Kimberly wants to others to know that if you honestly try and have a desire to do well, accomplishing your goal can and will happen.

– Kimberly Robbins

Older and Wiser

Photograph left to right: Rosa Lawson, Instructor, Kimberly Hicks-GrableHaving my GED diploma means that so many of the doors that were once closed to me can now be opened! I worked hard to get it and nothing can stop me from moving full speed into my future. The thing that motivated me to get my GED diploma was that I had always been working hard in restaurants and supermarkets for so many years and I finally realized that these were not the careers I wanted. I wanted to be a successful nurse. It always seemed like something was holding me back. I was always doing for my family, and leaving my interests, goals, and dreams on the back burner. As I got older, I got wiser about what kind of life style I really wanted to have. Fast food was not in my future. It took me 35 years to finally get the courage to get my GED diploma. I just had to have faith in myself; that, I could do it if I studied hard enough. If I had not found the GED program here in Putnam County, I don't think I would have ever done it.

My family has always said I could do it. They are my world. But, I guess I just never gave myself enough credit. I used to say I have been out of school far too long to go back and graduate. But, I always had my family there cheering me on and telling me it's never too late. They never gave up on me even when I gave up on myself. Math and Social Studies have always been my worst subjects. I could never understand them. So, I thought for sure there was no way I would ever pass my GED test. After studying in the GED classroom and listening to my teacher, Mrs. Hicks-Grable, I found out that there’s nothing to it, just understanding how to think critically. Her guidance and "happy to help you help yourself" attitude was just what I needed. My highest scores on my GED test were these two subjects. There are a couple of things that I gained from getting my GED diploma. Achieving it has given me a sense of dignity, peace, self confidence and the satisfaction of knowing I finally was able to finish something. I will be able to do better for myself and my family. Now, I am ready to start attending college to get my degree in Nursing.

– Rosa Lawson

Reaching My Goal

Photograph left to right: Instructor, Thedora Olgetree, Ami Husum, Instructor, Lyn BatsonAttaining a GED diploma is a great accomplishment. When I was asked to write about it, I was overwhelmed with excitement and pride. It was my dream to graduate and it is my hope to inspire others. I had come so far and had accomplished so much, now my dream was in sight and then I was asked to write about my experience. I was overcome with pride and joy. My GED teachers had noticed my enthusiasm, persistence and occasional stubbornness in reaching my goal. This article will let them know how much I appreciate their time and the faith they had in me. It is my hope that I may inspire everyone who desires to reach their first educational goal, by my story. My young life was not an easy life. As a mother, now, I know how difficult life can be, if it is not prepared for. I vowed that I would always be better for and with my own children. This is the reason my GED diploma was so extremely important to me. While pregnant with my third child, I decided that I could not continue raising my children without my educational foundation. It was a difficult commitment to make because of my busy schedule and other obstacles along my way, but I persistently continued to strive toward my goal. I refused to fail! I reached my goal! I have my GED diploma! I am forever grateful for my children and teachers; Heber Sarazua, Cindy Way, Ms. Smith, and Mrs. Olgletree for helping me reach my goal. Graduation from GED school may not mean much to some, but to me and the rest of my class, it is an accomplishment well worth celebrating. It is why we are here. With life’s daily challenges, I did it, we did it. You can do it, too.

– Ami Husum