Teen steers himself back on course with area GED program

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Adam Stacy (center) stands proudly with his family, friends and teachers after they surprised him Jan. 31 at work with the news that he had passed his GED test.
 
Gwen Sagraves (left) a student aide at London Adult Basic Literacy Education, looks over GED test results with Adam Stacy.

Adam Stacy was working his usual morning shift in the kitchen at Perkins Jan. 31 when guest services manager Liz Seagle told him he was needed in the dining area.

There to greet him were his family and his teachers from London Adult Basic Literacy Education (ABLE). They came bearing good news: Stacy had passed his GED test and thereby earned his Ohio High School Equivalency Diploma.

The surprise announcement brought a smile to Stacy’s face. As he pored over the test results, the smiles kept coming.

Stacy had taken the test once before, passing all but the science section. He could have retaken just that section the second time, but opted instead to do all of the sections (science, reading, writing, math and social studies) in hopes of boosting his overall average. His plan worked, and now he is ready for the next step.

“I want to move on and go to college,” said the 19-year-old London resident. “I kind of want to go into cooking. I’ve been doing it all my life, and I’ve gotten pretty good at it.”

Stacy said he is considering enrollment at Hocking College, where his girlfriend, Sara King, was just accepted into the culinary arts program.

Stacy’s path to higher education began with his decision to complete his high school education through London ABLE.

“I wanted to get back into going to school because I got away from it,” he said.

Stacy took GED classes at ABLE’s London office on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Program director Lynne Alexander, teacher Dick Wiseman, and other staff members and volunteers, including Gwen Sagraves who earned her GED in 2006, were there to help him.

“Adam is a good example of a young man who had a goal of getting his GED… When he came in to class, he was focused. He didn’t take many breaks. He worked so hard,” Alexander said.

Sagraves added, “The benefit of working at ABLE is things like this—watching a young man change his life. It’s exciting.”

Just as his teachers and tutors gushed about his efforts, Stacy praised them for the attention and assistance they provided.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” he said. He previously tried to get help with his GED in his hometown of Middleton, Ohio. “You get a lot more one-on-one help here (in London). If you need anything, they’ll talk to you.”

Stacy’s manager at Perkins knows well the quality of services that ABLE, ranked an “exemplary program” last year, offers. She is a former London ABLE student who went on to earn a degree in business administration from Clark State Community College. Her son also completed the program and earned his GED.

“At the time I went through the program, mine was the highest score (on the GED) they had ever seen,” Seagle said, “and my son’s score was the second highest.”

London ABLE organizers are proud of the statistics they’ve racked up, as well. Between June 2006 and July 2007, 80 students earned their GED or secondary high school diploma. Of those, 74 listed employment as a major goal; two listed entry into post-secondary education or training. All of them reached their goals. Since July of last year, another 46 students have earned their GED.

ABLE classes are free and are offered in three locations:

1. ABLE main office, 179 S. Main St., London, 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday and 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

2. Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library, 270 Lilly Chapel Rd., West Jefferson, 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

3. Mount Sterling Community Center, 164 E. Main St., Mount Sterling, 6 to 9 p.m. Monday and Thursday.

Students must be at least 16 years old. Instruction is both self-directed and provided through teachers, tutors and volunteers. To enroll, a person need only show up at one of the classes. Appointments are not necessary.

For more information about London ABLE, call 740-852-9843.

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