|asheville business & community directory|
A-B Tech GED graduates celebrated their accomplishments with family and friends in a packed Ferguson Auditorium June 4. The program graduated approximately 450 individuals during the past year and about 100 of those graduates were in attendance at the annual Recognition Ceremony.
Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy served as the community speaker and said she was touched by the stories some students shared. Comparing their journey to the sowing of seeds, Bellamy told the graduates they were good ground for seeds to take root, flourish and blossom. "You are good ground regardless of why you dropped out, regardless of how long it took you to finish or regardless of what someone may have told you.
"It may take your seeds longer but they are germinating today," Bellamy said. "You are so important to the fabric of this community. You have not done your best yet."
Terry Hughes worked in a factory for 40 years when his company and career went overseas. "It was the scariest thing, but it gave me the confidence to change my career and to go on. I am the first of my siblings to get a GED or graduate high school. My instructors always encouraged me to learn. I would put them up against any college in the country," he said.
Brandon Jones, who dropped out of high school 12 years ago at age 17, received laughs for his honesty. "I've always considered myself a smart person. In elementary school, I always got checks and plusses on my report card. By the time I got to high school, all I could pass was art, P.E. and lunch."
Jones signed up for GED classes at A-B Tech and was able to pass the reading portion of the exam. "After that I did what I did best - I quit," he said. Jones returned to A-B Tech and was grateful for the multiple chances. "I felt like the instructors were happy every time I showed up," he said.
"The most important thing is the students never gave up and they will go on to bigger and better things," said Brenda Robinson, Lead GED Lab instructor.
Jimmie Cochran Pratt, Foundation Development officer, presented College Bridge Scholarships to students Hannah Rae Guy and Theresa L. Talbot, who will enter curriculum programs at A-B Tech in the fall.
For more information about programs at A-B Tech, call 254-1921, or visit the college’s website at www.abtech.edu.
(Images provided by AB Tech.)