Woman Hopes To Inspire Others To Pursue Education

She never finished elementary school but now a Saucier woman says a second chance at education has opened the way to a better life. Tina Aultman is a single mother who in her mid-thirties decided to go back to school and get a GED. Although Aultman is somewhat uncomfortable telling her story, she says she's doing it anyway in hopes of inspiring others not to give up on their dreams. Aultman is telling people that if she can do it, you can too.

Books about history and science helped Tina Aultman leave behind a life where filing out job applications was both intimidating and embarrassing.

"Normally I would lie. I mean who wants to say you have a third or fourth grade education?," said Aultman. "That's not going to take you very far and it doesn't look good."

After nine months of night classes, the 37-year-old earned her GED. Not easy for someone who didn't even know the basics when she began. Every time Autlman felt overwhelmed she says her instructor was there for encouragement.

"There were times I cried on her shoulder because I really didn't know and I couldn't comprehend. She would work with me. To pass the GED you have to do an Algebra and I was just beginning in fractions."

Another stress for this single mother of two was finding ways to fit her studies in between family time and a full time job.

"You can find the balance. You just have to want something enough to do it."

Soon Aultman will finish her first semester as a freshman at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community college. A crowd including state legislators and trustees heard how without GED programs, Aultman's dream of a better life and the dreams of many others would not be possible.

"It's opened up so many new doors. So much new knowledge that I didn't know and things that I'm learning." said Aultman. "It just opens up so much and it's just absolutely wonderful."

Tina Aultman is majoring in education. She was wants to teach young children and give them the kind of education she didn't get a their age.

by Danielle Thomas