GED Graduates Celebrate Second Chances and Take Steps toward Financial Stability
United Ministries will hold a graduation ceremony for adult students who recently passed the GED test, earning their high school equivalency diplomas, on Thursday, March 3 at Buncombe Street United Methodist Church. A celebratory reception for students, families, and supporters begins at 6 p.m. with the ceremony following at 7 p.m.
“We love celebrating our students’ success,” says Dr. Lisa Hall, program manager of United Ministries’ Adult Education. “Graduation is a special time for us to honor all of the hard work and achievements of our students who are taking positive steps to change their lives. A major goal that we have for our students is long-term financial stability.”
On average, an adult who lacks a high school diploma makes around $10,000 less per year than a high school graduate and $32,000 less than a college graduate. The high school equivalency diploma provides adults with a second chance to develop their earning potential by qualifying them for higher education, technical training, and quality employment. United Ministries’ GED graduates can take these next steps by also participating in the agency’s Employment Readiness program, which offers free soft skills training and one-on-one job coaching.
The SC Department of Education recently adopted a new passing score for the GED test, which is being applied retroactively for students who scored between 145 and 149 on the new, and more difficult, GED test launched in January of 2014. “The new passing score will open doors for our students who are motivated to be college and career-ready,” says Hall.
GED graduate James Burnett attributes his success to the help of volunteers, “That’s what’s awesome about United Ministries. The people really, truly care about seeing you succeed. At the age of 38, I got my GED and achieved what I thought was unachievable. Through homelessness and rebuilding my education, United Ministries and its volunteers helped me get my life back.”