It's a huge roadblock for many high school dropouts. No GED can prevent people from getting a good job, going to college, even joining the military. Goodwill Industries of South Mississippi is offering a program that can help you get your GED, and the classes are free.
The classes are geared toward students who never got to achieve their dream of getting a high school diploma. They failed school, dropped-out, or for some other reason had to leave high school.
"Once you're out of school, you're out unless you can come back and get your GED. Without a GED or high school diploma, all doors are closed," said Mitch Bauman, Training Center Coordinator for Goodwill.
George Lewis dropped out almost 20-years ago.
"I had a kid when I was in high school and it forced me to work and everything so I didn't complete. So I've been working all these years and everything. So I figured it's time to get my education," said Lewis.
Lewis signed-up for a GED preparation class at Goodwill Industries of South Mississippi. The program started in the agency's Training Center in Gulfport a year ago. The classes are free for anyone who's interested. Goodwill employees even get paid while they attend classes.
"We even pay the testing fees, which are now up to $70 for a full test. It's a great deal," said Bauman.
Between 50 to 60 students, ages 17 to 65, have come through the program. Eight students have graduated. Four more students are ready to take the test.
"Closed doors become open doors. They can go to college, they can join the military, go to a trade school. They can get the better job. All the doors are open," said Bauman.
"I think it's excellent. It's free. You come here, they work with you when you want to work. The hours are flexible, and the people here are really nice. It's great," said Lewis.
That's what the students are looking for, a second chance and better opportunities. In order to enroll in the class, you have to take a pre-test to determine your level of education. To learn more about the program, or to make an appointment, just call (228) 868-0731.
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