Stories: Helping people earn the GED for better employment

Your Support Impacts LivesToday’s story comes from Kim Beck, Director of the Fayette County Literacy Council. Names are changed to protect client privacy.

Ed was panicked. He came to our United Way funded partner agency, the Fayette County Literacy Council, with an urgency to get his GED. He had worked several jobs in his life, but he had aspired all his life to be a law enforcement officer.

When he saw an opening with a law enforcement department, he had applied for the position and was hired for his dream job! He was going through basic training when records showed he had not received his GED. Now, his new job was in jeopardy because he did not have his high school diploma. He had to get a GED immediately in order to keep his new job.

“Their chief of police thought Ed would be good for the job and he was cooperative, working with our learning center to help Ed earn his GED,” said one agency counselor. “We only had two weeks to help Ed prepare for his GED test.”

After Ed took some assessments and placement tests, the learning center helped Ed focus on study areas where he needed more preparation.

”We tested Ed in several areas to determine what skills he needed to pass the GED test,” the counselor noted. “There were a few areas where Ed needed more study before he would be ready for the official ‘practice test’ that is required before taking the GED,” the agency professional explained.

Ed worked on his assignments and was diligent in his studies. His scores improved and he passed all the requirements to take his GED exam. Agency counselors worked with the GED testing center and the State Department of Adult Education to secure a place for Ed for the next GED test, the day before the test was administered.

The tests were graded a week later and the agency professionals were thrilled to learn Ed’s hard work had paid off – he had passed the GED test!

Given his last-minute registration for the test, Ed wasn’t able to order a cap and gown for his GED graduation ceremony. But that did not deter him from speaking to the crowd, telling everyone, “I have finally reached my lifelong ambition to become a law enforcement officer. To be employed with a police department is fulfilling my lifelong dream!”

Today Ed protects and serves his community, thanks to your support of United Way’s network of care.

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