Tina Bryant could hardly remember a time when her life wasn’t consumed by drugs. Under their spell, she found it difficult to care about anything else–certainly not her education. She recalls that she would often walk in the front door of her high school and head straight out the back to get high. Not surprisingly, Tina dropped out before earning her diploma.

Fast-forward 22 years and Tina is standing at a podium in a cap and gown and receiving a standing ovation from her peers.  How did this happen? Tina credits the grace of God and the devotion of staff and volunteers at both United Ministries and Miracle Hill’s Renewal program.  At Renewal, a residential recovery program, Tina received counseling for her addiction and acquired the skills she needed to stay off drugs. The Renewal staff also encouraged her to finish school and referred her to United Ministries to study for the GED.

Despite her spotty attendance in high school, Tina proved to be a very capable GED student.  She enrolled at United Ministries in May 2019 and passed three out of the four GED subject tests before completing Renewal’s recovery program in June. She also made an excellent impression on the Renewal program staff who invited her to join them as an intern.

Tina had begun to contemplate a career in addiction counseling, so she leapt at the internship opportunity at Renewal. Between her internship hours and her full-time job, she could no longer come to the United Ministries’ Learning Center to study. That meant her GED preparation would have to go on hold, along with her goal of studying addiction counseling in college.

Fortunately, the Renewal staff located a volunteer who was able to come to their facility and tutor Tina in math. Although Tina had significant math phobia and questioned whether she could learn it at all, she says that her math tutor, Nancy, convinced her that “math is beautiful.”

With Nancy’s help, Tina passed her GED Math test and earned her diploma on February 12, 2020. She has since been hired as a full-time staff member at Renewal and plans to enroll at Greenville Technical College this fall.  Although her path to this point has been long and hard, she says it has strengthened her faith and taught her that “All things are possible for those who believe.”  She now looks forward to her future with confidence and hope.