National Adult Ed Week puts spotlight on GED students

By Hannah Horne - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - This is National Adult Education and Family Literacy week. It is a time to focus on non-traditional students and how one local school is giving adults a second chance.

It's a banner week inside Richland One's Adult Education Center. This week is a pat on the back for the specialized work they do there.

"Adult ed is responsible for 20 percent of all high school credentials, which is a big percentage," said teacher Ann Smoak.

Latashi Joyner is hoping to join that group of graduates soon. In fact, she's got high hopes. "I want to be top student," she said.

The 34-year-old mother of three is studying for her GED after facing some tough life decisions.

"I dropped out of school so I could work to support my family, so I started raising my family myself," said Joyner.

Smoak says most of her students have overcome tremendous obstacles and willingly decide to make a change for the good.

"No one makes them come," said Smoak. "They are here on their own free will and they need to make a step in life."

For Joyner, that step is in the direction of some lofty goals.

"I want to be an LPN and have my own business for Muslim females who don't work, by cleaning and organizing on their budget," said Joyner.

The district provides a place where going back to class means going forward toward dreams.

"I said I've got to get my GED so I can have a good career and survive out there," said Joyner.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved.