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GED® Success Stories

By Reanna Seeger, Educator

More than 39 million adult Americans lack a high school diploma or equivalent, putting them at a disadvantage in the job market and disqualifying them from higher education. The statistics are clear. American adults without a high school degree or equivalent are unemployed at higher rates and make far less money than those with a high-school level education. The GED test, HiSET exam, or TASC test is an important step to get adults without a diploma back on track. Consider the individual stories of graduates who have taken this route to move forward.

Mario Rocha is a GED graduate. At 16, he was imprisoned for murder, with a life sentence, though he denied being guilty. After ten years in jail, California's appellate court judged that Rocha's attorney did not represent him adequately. While imprisoned as a juvenile, Rocha worked to get a GED certificate, as well as fighting for his freedom and discovering writing through InsideOUT, a writing program. At 31, Rocha visits GED graduates, telling them his own definition of "GED": Get Everything you Deserve.

Ryan Behnke was thrown out of Springstead High School in Florida, where administrators claimed he could not graduate in time with a GPA below 1.162. After leaving school, Behnke studied on his own to get a high school equivalency diploma. In six months, he earned the GED certificate and now hopes to enroll in a trade school to become an automotive mechanic or chef. Behnke remembers struggling in school and falling behind. In school, he never caught up, but the GED program gave him a chance to move forward in life.

Kenneth Neal and Sharon James, of Putnam County, Tennessee, are a different kind of success story. They met at Putnam Adult High in a prep program, where they were both studying to earn GED certificates. Now, they are engaged to be married. Kenneth dropped out of school in 8th grade to get a job in a shirt factory. When he found himself laid off after 30 years in factory and truck driving jobs, he learned that a high school diploma has become a requirement for most jobs. Sharon dropped out of school in 11th grade to become a wife and mother. After she was divorced, she soon realized that she would eventually need a diploma to compete in the job market, as well. The GED test brought them together.

The stories of GED graduates are stories of accomplishment, hard work, and hope for the future. They inspire the millions of Americans who need a diploma, and they give a face to the need for test prep programs that work.

Author’s Recommendations:

GED® Success Stories by Reanna Seeger is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United Stated License, redistribution of this article is allowed under the following terms outlined here.

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