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Nine finish GED program

A high school diploma holds the same clout whether it is obtained traditionally or through a GED program.

The nine women who have completed their high school educations, with the help of the Selma City Schools Family Literacy program, now have the same distinction as the other students to receive high school diplomas this year.

Katie Bell, Johnetta Holiday, Takisha Irby, Bridgette Hall, Ashley Gary, Jasmine Crenshaw, Ashley Boone, Jessica Howard and Cassandra Albritton have all reached their educational milestone, but this is not the end for them.

All will return to school to continue their educations this summer or fall.

“I came to this program to better myself for me and my children,” Boone said. “It was hard because I was going to work after I left here at 11:30 a.m. and making it to work at noon. It was hard, but I did it.”

The success of the program is due to personalized goals.

“We set individualized goals for each person and work with them,” said Mary Drue Lee, program facilitator. “We do whatever it takes to get them from where they are to where they want to be. We want to change the world, but we do that one heart and one mind at a time.”

Based on personal goals, students can complete the course as quickly or gradually as needed. Most students want to improve their adult basic education skills, obtain a GED or be admitted into technical school, Lee said.

The program also offers child care during classes so parents can study attentively, and every Monday students receive a visit from program staff to teach parenting skills in the home and ways to make children school-ready.

It operates in cooperation with Wallace Community College, and students attend classes four days a week at Payne Elementary.

The program has space for 15 students, drawing in new students from a waiting list as soon as someone completes the program.

Current student Nicole Mumford is planning to complete the program at the beginning of June. Seeing her classmates and friends complete the program has given her even more drive than she already had.

“It’s more initiative to be up there and get mine, just like they did,” Mumford said.