Students celebrate earning GED diplomas

  • GED graduate Jennifer Welch hugs Geoffrey Kridel of Lumpkin Literacy alongside board members Barbara Adams, Shirley Christman and Karen Shepherd.
    GED graduate Jennifer Welch hugs Geoffrey Kridel of Lumpkin Literacy alongside board members Barbara Adams, Shirley Christman and Karen Shepherd.
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Although Jasmine Fitzpatrick completed homeschooled high school coursework, she was not eligible for a diploma because her curriculum was not certified.
When she lost her job at a local manufacturer, she realized the importance of a high school diploma when she met with difficulty re-entering the job market.
She decided to go back and get her GED at Lanier Tech Adult Education Center in Dahlonega.
Getting her GED has put Fitzpatrick back on track to build her future and her career.
Her's is only one story of out of the many graduates who understand how education will increase not only their financial stability but can also benefit their future.
In 2017, there were six people who got their GED in Lumpkin County but in 2018 that number was 39.  In 2019 there were 65 students who did so.
This represented the largest group ever from Lumpkin County (this was more than in Barrow, Banks, Dawson, Jackson or Forsyth counties). Lumpkin was only second to Hall County which has six times Lumpkin’s population.
In addition to GED graduates walking down the aisle for their diplomas at Lanier Tech recently, Lumpkin Literacy also presented graduates with a Chromebook computer for their hard work and to assist those continuing down their education path.
Spouses, children, moms and dads cheered on their family members' achievements.
Jennifer Parker, Lumpkin’s lead instructor for Lanier Tech also presented fun awards highlighting student’s personalities.
The GED graduates came from all walks of life and ranged in age from 16 to 75, said Geoffrey Kridel of Lumpkin Literacy. Some grads are married, single, twins and grandparents and each graduate has his or her own individual success story.
"But all the GED graduates have one thing in common: determination," said Kridel.
The program is open to any person of any age in the county without a high school diploma.
"We hope their success will inspire others to contact the Adult Education Center and begin working on their GED. It’s never too late to learn. And the more you learn, the more you earn. Because literacy is economic development," Kridel added.