Adults Head Back To School For GED
by Marcus Washington
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - On Monday, it was back to school for many adults as they took the first step towards earning their General Education Development degree.
It was the first day of school and while the ages of students attending Martha O'Bryan Center aren't traditional, the goal of getting an education reads the same.
Deyonnia Roper said she's aiming to earn her GED for a special reason -- her 5-year-old daughter.
"The whole part of seeing my daughter go to school and I didn't want her to see me as a failure," said Roper, whose daughter recently started kindergarten.
"I want better for her and the whole point of her going is making me go, because I want her to look at me and say, my momma did it, I want to do it," she said.
Harold Waters, who dropped out of school in the 11th grade, has also decided to go back to school for his GED.
"I want (my children) to be better. I want them to stay in school and try to get their diploma instead of a GED," said Waters.
Judy Rye is the director of the adult education program at the Martha O'Bryan Center and said the first week is about testing to meet each student's educational needs to pass the General Education Development test.
"We're going to work hard for them, and we want them to commit to work hard to reach their goal," said Rye.
Scores from the test students are taking during the first week of the program, will look at their ability to master reading, math and language, "and we're going to create an individualized plan for each student," said Rye.
On average, a person who has a high school diploma or a GED will make $10,000 more a year than someone who has dropped out of school or has not completed the GED test.
Paying for the GED test is a concern Rye and many others with the program think prevent potential students from enrolling.
Currently paper test are $75 and computerized test are $120.
To help students, a scholarship has been set up for students in need.
"We don't want the cost of the GED to put pressure on them, we want them to focus on learning and focus on succeeding and then we want that to be taken care of," said Rye.
Just as hard as it is to get kids back into the swing of school, both Deyonnia and Harold said it's the same for adults, but it can be done.
"It's never too late to get your education. The way the world is now, we all need an education. With that being said, get out there," said Roper.
If you would like to help with the scholarships, visit www.breaktheline.org and click on donate and write GED scholarship in the comment section.