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HCC celebrates GED summer graduate success

The General Educational Development (GED) Program is one part of Halifax Community College’s (HCC) Literacy Education Program. This summer, the GED Program had a total of 16 graduates for the summer session, May 18-July 21.  


Laura Baker, David Bottoms, Keila Elder, Kim Harrah, Julius Hunter, Brittany Jones, Aimee Loren, Jeff Lyons, Barbara Massey, Meagan Patterson, Josiah Rice, Britney Shaw, James Simmons, Nijen Stephens, and Bradley Walton are this summer’s GED graduates.


The college has an open-door policy of continuing education for everyone who has the need and desire to learn. Any adult, 18 years or older, may enroll in classes that are open-entry, open-exit.


Graduate Britney Shaw from Roanoke Rapids wanted to move forward in her life. She plans to be a travel nurse. “I was getting into trouble because I had too much time on my hands,” said Shaw. After she missed more than 100 days of high school, she was dropped. However, she was determined not to be “just a dropout.” Now that she has earned a GED, Shaw will be a curriculum student for the fall 2009 semester, studying to become a registered nurse. “Keep trying,” she advised those who may need to earn a GED and added that the best part of the program was the help that she received from the teachers.


A Rocky Mount resident, graduate Julius Hunter felt that having a GED was a must in life, “It’s the life cycle. You’ve got to have an education.” Although it took him multiple tries to earn the GED due to some family troubles, he never lost sight of his goal. Ultimately, Hunter would like to live and work in Virginia and he may continue his education in the future. “The teachers were the best part,” said Hunter. “The teachers weren’t forceful with us. They made sure that we understood the work,” he said of the GED program staff.


Graduate Aimee Loren of Roanoke Rapids also plans to become a registered nurse. She decided to finish her high school equivalency requirements so she could continue her education. She will enroll in curriculum classes at HCC this fall. “I liked the program because you can go at your own pace, come in when you can and get it done,” explained Loren. “My kids are in school and that’s a bad example if I tell them they need to finish and I haven’t. I needed to finish school to be a good example for them.”


Littleton resident Barbara Massey needed more of a challenge than high school could provide. “I just didn’t feel challenged in high school,” she explained. “The [GED] program was fast and easy. You work when it’s good for you, and with the economy today, you need an education,” said Massey. She plans to enroll in Associate in Arts curriculum classes this fall and perhaps go into law in the future. “That’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”


Graduate James Simmons of Weldon had a goal to finish the GED. Having been an over-the-road truck driver from Boston to Kentucky and down to Florida, Simmons knew he wanted to earn a GED. He was only 20 points from earning the credential on a previous try. Currently on a work break, he decided to finish the GED. He is interested in the welding program at HCC and would like to eventually build race car frames for NASCAR. “The best part of this was the friendship I had with the teachers,” commented Simmons. “Education is a necessity of life. …It’s completing yourself.”


HCC is a licensed GED test center open to those interested in registering for the exam. The GED exam offers high school equivalency credentials to individuals who did not obtain a high school diploma. Five subject areas including language arts/reading, social studies, science, language arts/writing and mathematics are tested. Preparation can be completed at the HCC Learning Lab on the main campus or at the Adult Basic Education/GED off-campus sites. Students who successfully complete the exam are awarded a high school diploma equivalency from the N.C. State Board of Community Colleges. For more details on the GED Program, call Tamba Thompson at (252) 536-7235, Therman Taylor at (252) 536-6362 or Tiffany Hale at (252) 536-6342.


The General Educational Development (GED) Program at HCC had a total of 16 graduates for the summer session. Pictured above are first row from left, HCC Director of Literacy Education Tamba Thompson, Britney Shaw, Barbara Massey, Brittany Jones, and Julius Hunter; second row, HCC President Dr. Ervin V. Griffin, Sr., Aimee Loren, James Simmons and HCC Literacy Skills Specialist Brenda Cousins.