Articles about the GED sometimes cite the number of GED earners in a year as a percentage of the total high school graduates, as if GED graduates came from the same pool as high school seniors. While it is true that the GED provides an alternative path to graduation for some struggling high school students, the 39 million or more American adults who need a GED are not high school students. This large pool of American adults are an important demographic in need of a path to higher education and better jobs. Among the true "senior class" of the GED are the following success stories.
Earlene Harvey-Morris was attending Falkville High School in Alabama in 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression. The high school closed for budgetary reasons months before her graduation, and by the time it reopened, she was married and lived 10 miles away from the school, which did not resume bus services. She never thought she'd earn her high school diploma. However, on May 24, 2010, the 95-year-old earned her GED. She was awarded two credentials: a high school diploma for her original class of 1933 and one for the class of 2010.
In Cleveland, Ohio, Edward Turner, an 81-year-old businessman, family man, and veteran, earned his GED. Mr. Turner left school in 11th grade to help support his family, and he retired in 1990. Mr. Turner initially took the GED in 2008, but failed the math portions. Even though he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he retook the test in 2010 and earned his GED credential.
Americus, Georgia resident Catherine Volley earned her GED credential through South Georgia Technical College. At 75 years old, she was the oldest GED graduate in her class of 120 students. Over ten years previously, Ms. Volley began taking GED preparation classes with her husband, but stopped after his death. Now, she has come back to earn her diploma.
Helen Smithers, an 82-year-old resident of Vermilion, Illinois, earned a GED as well, graduating from Lake Land College with a GED credential. Though she struggled with the math portion of the GED test, she finally earned her GED after being out of school for 67 years. Experience Works, a national community-based organization that helps those over 55 years old get job training, helped Ms. Smithers earn her GED.
The GED means a lot to GED earners. From teens and young adults who struggled and dropped out of high school recently, to 95-year-olds who have waited decades for a high school diploma, the GED credential provides a second chance at self-confidence, fulfillment, and advancement. It is truly never too late to learn.
GED and GED Testing Service are registered trademarks of the American Council on Education (ACE). Use of the GED trademark does not imply support or endorsement by ACE.
Michael Ormsby is the president of The GED Academy and oversees software and curriculum for adult learners and people with educational challenges. For more information, visit http://www.passGED.com . Michael can be contacted by email at: information@passGED.com or by telephone at 800-460-8150.