Christian Slater: GED® Graduate
The story is familiar: A son dropped out of school years ago in order to work. He's been working ever since, and now he's got kids himself. He wants them to stay in school and to value education. To set an example for his children, he decides to go back to school and to get a GED certificate. It's a story we hear at the GED Academy from many parents. Only this parent is a little different: actor Christian Slater.
The star of USA Network's acclaimed show "Mr. Robot," where he plays the troubled main character's dead father, is a GED graduate. He appeared as a guest on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in January of 2010 and discussed his GED certificate. He has been working since he was nine years old and was motivated to get a high school equivalency diploma in order to show his children that education was important. After passing the GED test, Slater began to work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's "Get Schooled" program, which grapples with the issue of high school dropouts in the U.S.
More than 39 million American adults don't have a high school diploma or equivalent. Many of these adults dropped out of school to go to work or to care for their families. Today, these adults can earn a high school equivalency diploma through the GED test or HiSET exam.
The changing economy makes it important for former dropouts to get a diploma, and perhaps even more important for their children to earn a high school diploma and go on to college. Education opens up more possibilities for the future, something every parent wants for their children.
Passing a high school equivalency test can be a life-changing experience for both parents and their children. Children who see their parents working to get a diploma often work harder in school and become more involved in learning. And parents who decide to get a diploma as an example for their children often experience new-found self-esteem and pride at earning a high school credential, even after many years have passed.
The GED test or HiSET exam does not need to be difficult. Many people can pass the exam with a little bit of preparation, especially if the instruction is targeted to their individual needs. The rewards can go beyond just being eligible for more jobs and higher education, including intangible benefits for both graduates and their families.
Armand Machado, Educator