Stories: Studying for ten years, Jeremy graduates with his GED despite mental and physical challenges

This story comes courtesy of Mary Murphy with the DeSoto Literacy Council. Names and images have been changed to protect privacy.

Learning to read and write helped Jeremy accomplish some of his major goals

Jeremy’s life has been filled with challenges, but thanks to your support of United Way’s network of care, he’s been seeing a lot of victories lately.

As a recent graduate of the DeSoto County Literacy Council’s GED class, thirty-five year old Jeremy says he now has “proof” of accomplishing his goal of learning how to read and write.

Jeremy began his studies ten years ago, and the learning classes at the United Way partner agency were instrumental in his success and graduation.

Jeremy’s challenges come from a form of mental illness and physical limitations.

“Some thought Jeremy would never reach his goals because of the unique challenges that living with a controllable form of mental illness presented,” the agency counselor said. “As he studied, he had to struggle with the effects of prescription medication on his memory. The math section of the GED was particularly hard for him, and there were times he knew he needed help to stay motivated.”

The counselor added that as many times as it took for Jeremy to retest on the math part, he remained dedicated to his goal and therefore was successful.

“Through his perseverance, and with the support and prayers of his parents, church family, friends, teachers and classmates, Jeremy proved those who doubted him to be wrong!” the counselor said.

Jeremy is now tackling other goals,  deciding if he wants to look for a job or enroll in community college. Thanks to your generous support of United Way, programs are available to help Jeremy and people like him who never thought they had a chance to accomplish their dreams.

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