May 12, 2017
My journey to getting my GED® began in the spring of 2014. To be broader, I was in the process of getting my GED® for the previous four years leading up to the year of 2014. During, the whole experience, I was facing life as it came, homelessness, struggling from job to job and dealing with my health on a daily basis. After several years of dealing with dialysis and the strains of life, I was introduced to an Adult Ed program at the Goodwill in Sherwood AR, where I met Karen Kennedy and, a few months later, Brent Sharp joined her. These people became my teachers, close friends, and mentors throughout the whole program.
After explaining my situation and finally committing to my education, both Karen and Brent mentored me throughout the whole process and made me a successful student. They would have class sessions with a group of students and they actually inspired me as I saw they truly cared about our well-being and educational endeavors. The introduction to the Aztec Learning Program made the information I was receiving more concrete and along with the materials that were provided, I could navigate through the different disciplines and lessons a lot faster. With my GED® Ready scores steadily increasing, it motivated me to make a drastic change in my life and sacrifice to get to where I knew I could be. I was working as a manager at Toy’s R Us and living with roommates while doing dialysis treatments 9 hours a night when I decided to quit my job, resulting in the loss of my vehicle and the loss of my independent living situation to pursue my GED®.
To this end, I received my GED® in October of 2014 with a very exceptional overall score, but the journey did not end there. Karen pushed me further and aided me in my transition to college, which I had always thought the idea of college wasn’t for drop-outs like me. Needless to say, I enrolled at Pulaski Technical College in Spring of 2015 with the help of my teachers and my GED®. Two short years later, a few surgeries, including a kidney transplant, I’m graduating with an Associates of Arts and Liberal Science as well as a certificate for Computer Aided Drafting. I’ve managed to not only graduate but to maintain a 4.0 and graduate with highest honors. I have received about 8 scholarships including being named UA Pulaski Tech’s Academic All-Star and am receiving a full-ride to a university of my choice within the state of Arkansas. I also volunteer with several different programs throughout the state and a multitude of school programs, including being Vice President of the Honors Society. I work at the college as well as aid other students with scholarship opportunities and math tutoring.
Without the tools and successes of gaining my GED® through the PCSSD Adult Education Program, my current condition would not be possible. This fall, I am pursuing my Bachelor’s in Architectural Engineering with aspirations of being an Architect. Then, I plan to continue my education to receive my Master’s in Urban Planning, with hopes to revitalize poverty-stricken, overcrowded, and/or poorly developed communities. My dreams are big and my ambition is plenty and all of my effort and sacrifices plus the sacrifices of the teacher’s time to get me here will all pay off. This all started with something as simple as receiving my GED®.
*Anthony Freeman graduated on May 13, 2017, from UA – Pulaski Technical College and submitted this testimonial on May 11, 2017.
May 2, 2017
On behalf of WAGE, I am writing this to express my gratitude for such an outstanding and worthwhile program.
As a former employee at Crosby National Swage in Jacksonville, Arkansas, I had the pleasure of working with the Pulaski County Adult Education/WAGE Program and their staff for over 9 years. Then General Manager at National, Mike Chandler, who also served as the WAGE Chairman for Pulaski County, allowed me the opportunity to participate in LEAC/WAGE meetings, programs, and workshops.
I never realized that I would find myself using their services not only as a supporter of the program but as one of the unemployed. Because I am seeking employment and wanting to improve my skills in the process, I am grateful for the opportunity to walk into my local WAGE classroom in Jacksonville. I receive, free of charge, the encouragement, and instruction necessary to succeed by teachers preparing me for my next employment opportunity.
As you are aware, WAGE is a provider of workforce essential skills and has been invaluable in this process for me. WAGE is, specifically, an asset in helping others that I share a classroom with to obtain job readiness skills including GEDs, WAGE Program Certificates, Workplace, and Lifeskills. Although I obtained a degree and worked for many years, one never stops learning and honing skills. Thank you for allowing me this chance to re-enter the workforce better prepared with the skills necessary to succeed.