Graduates of the Visions of Hope GED program say their dreams for professional success started with a vision for a better future. Sunday, they made the first step toward creating that future by graduating with their GED's. For Kerri Bennett, this first step is setting her up to achieve an important professional goal.
"I knew I was going to accomplish this because I said definitely by 30 I wanted a degree, so I am going for it. I got two years before I'm 30, so this is my big thing," says Bennett.
Bennett is a single mother of 3 children. Although she says balancing the role of mother and student was trying at times, Bennett says earning her GED was an investment in both her and her family's future.
"I want to be a big influence on their lives. It's important for me to get my GED, so I can be a better mother to them. And education, everybody needs it," says Bennett.
Like Bennett, some of the graduates have pursued this goal for years. They said it all came down to pushing themselves to accomplish something they knew would mean better opportunities.
"Self-ambition. I just made it up in my mind that I was going to get my GED now, so I can have a great future," says Roderick Trotter.
Visions of Hope is a self-paced program that runs year round, and the instructor says this day is what keeps him in the classroom.
"That's why I do it. It makes me feel like it's worth it to see them graduate and see them carry on with their plans," says Bob Waltz, class intsructor.
Now, with GED's in hand, a reminder of their determination to strive for something better, the graduates say they are empowered to write their own success stories.
Each of the graduates will receive one free class for a semester at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community college for earning their GED.
In order to sign up for the Visions of Hope GED Program, you must be 17 years old or older. Classes are held year round every Tuesday and Thursday morning at the Visions of Hope Center on 618 Division Street in Biloxi from 9 a.m. to noon.
If you'd like more information you can call (228) 435-9200 or you can visit their website by clicking here.