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84-Year-Old Woman’s Life Is Now Complete With Her GED Diploma

“Never give up on your dream”. These are the resolute words of wisdom of Joan Butler Kayser, one of the rare senior citizens in Danbury, Connecticut who has earned her GED diploma. Joan is 84 years old.

Joan had to stop going to high school three months before her graduation. She had to work to support her family’s finances. Her parents brought her into this world and raised her, so she deemed it proper to do so. However, Joan promised her mother that one day, she’s going to earn her degree.

It took time until that came to pass, especially because Joan eventually got married, had five kids and then had 3 grandchildren and soon another 3 great-grandchildren. Seeing graduations, such as that of her grandchildren has made Joan feel that she was missing something. Until the time came when Joan decided to work on a secret project, with her family thinking that it was a mere photo collage or puzzle.

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It thus came as an astonishing surprise when 84-year-old Joan announced that she has passed her GED with a 70% or higher rating for all the four subjects. Joan’s daughter, Katheryn Cumming was overjoyed, saying that Joan’s achievement has made her life complete.

Kayser never divulged the fact that she was working on her degree. The only person who knew about it was Carol Thibodeau, her home aid. Carol is a retired teacher who tirelessly researched on how Joan, who happens to have a hearing, visual and mobility difficulties could cope with her test prep and earn her GED diploma. From the months of May until December, Carol administered Joan’s tests on the 4 GED subjects in the latter’s home.

“I haven’t been in a classroom for several decades”, Joan declared. “I doubted that I can pass the tests”, she added. But she was able to surpass the first three tests and made it through the Social Studies test which she considered as her “worst nightmare”.

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In December, the great news came when Carol handed a wrapped package to Joan. “I thought it was Carol’s picture with her kids and her dog”, she blurted. But Joan cried when she opened it and saw that it was her GED certificate. “Oh my God. I did it”, she exclaimed with tears of joy in her eyes.

Joan couldn’t believe it was happening. Her daughter Katheryn pronounced that her mother had to wait to finally hold her GED diploma in her hand to make sure of her accomplishment. When Joan’s family knew, they were stunned and beaming with pride at the same time. Everyone fell into tears.

The state of Connecticut does not specifically track the ages of residents who acquire their GED diplomas. But according to statistics, it’s quite rare for senior citizens to aim for this feat. According to the state’s Department of Education, 1,040 people aged 60 and above enrolled in GED, ESL, citizenship, national external diploma, and adult high school credit diploma programs in 2018. The largest age group of this population was those between 25 to 44 years old.

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“We’re so proud of Joan and her achievement. She is indeed a role model and an inspiration to others”, Carol Thibodeau said. Of all the 5 siblings, Joan is the sole to have earned a high school diploma. It has made her feel guilty that she hasn’t kept her promise to her mother that she would graduate.

“I wish my mother were here and saw my GED diploma. She has been my inspiration since I was a young girl”, Joan declared.

Always having instilled the value of education to her children, Joan resolved to not let them think that she was a loser.

“I now feel that I have a very good life, and it’s so overwhelming. My family is fantastic, and I had been given every single dream that I wanted and I am very grateful”, Joan gladly uttered.

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Clothing Issue Prevented Woman From Taking GED Test

There has been an incident about a woman in Milwaukee who was initially not permitted to take the GED test because of her clothing. The concerned GED testing center, United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS) wanted to clear out the confusion about this particular issue.

The woman allegedly stated that her clothing was part of her jihab. Muslim women wear this head covering and coat as inherent to their custom.

The Pearson VUE company administers the GED test through UMOS, which happens to be an authorized GED testing center. UMOS claimed that Pearson VUE has specific rules for candidates when taking the test.

One of these rules prohibits test-takers to wear coats or jackets during the test-taking period, and UMOS declared that their staff had merely complied with that protocol.

According to a spokesperson from UMOS, when the Muslim woman test-taker explained that she was wearing religious attire, a UMOS staff referred the matter to their supervisor, who, in turn, contacted Pearson VUE to clarify the issue. The spokesperson further commented that Pearson VUE understood the situation and ultimately allowed the Muslim woman to take the GED test on that day as well.

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GED Plus Program Offers Kentucky Students Tuition-Free Certificates

Candidates who are planning to pursue careers in high-demand fields can earn college certificates at no cost through GED Plus, one of the newest programs offered via the MSU Adult Learning Center. A primary goal of the GED Plus is to render their students to be better prepared for the workforce.

Some of the high-demand careers wherein students can avail of college certificates are:

  • Business services or IT
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Health care
  • Construction or trades
  • Transportation or logistics

The Kentucky Skills U, otherwise known as the Kentucky Adult Education along with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) are responsible for the endowment of the GED Plus. The Kentucky Work-Ready Scholarship program allows students to earn tuition-free certificates within four months at most. There is no need for students to take a placement test in order to avail of a certificate.

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Other than the GED Plus, the KCTS likewise offers a $400 scholarship to each of the first 1,000 enrollees of the MSU Adult Learning Center. This amount is meant to cover other expenses, particularly those that are not part of the Work Ready program.

Personalized attention and support from the staff and faculty of the MSU Adult Learning Center are offered to students. These give way for the learners to obtain better chances to succeed. There are a plethora of choices for individuals who aim to earn their GED diplomas and improve their career prospects, as additionally offered by the MSU Adult Learning Center through the GED Plus program.

Six counties are currently served by the MSU Adult Learning Center, and namely, they are Morgan, Montgomery, Bath, Rowan, Wolfe, and Powell.

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According to Jenny McKinney, the Director of MSU Learning Center, a GED opens the gates to better opportunities in higher education or jobs. In fact, it has been estimated that by 2020, over 62% of the total jobs in Kentucky will require a certain level of postsecondary training or education.

There are several options for learning provided by the MSU Adult Learning Center. Evening hours are available for students who cannot attend classes, and there’s distance education through the Internet. Take home lessons are available as well. Pre-testing and individualized instruction are offered for free and students can benefit from vouchers that allow them half-the-price discounts for each of their modules.

Students at the MSU Adult Learning Center have a wide selection of services and programs to avail of as they earn college credits and obtain their GED diplomas. The faculty and staff of the adult learning center indeed take time and effort in assisting learners in working for a brighter future.

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Learning How To Pass The GED By Focusing On Art

The 2012 GED Revision Is Good News

The GED, as a standardized exam, can open new and promising doors to its test-takers. Not having finished high school and lacking in proper education significantly hampers one’s academic and career prospects.  Since the GED’s inception in 1942, there has been a total of 20 million candidates who passed the GED and move forward in their respective and succeeding endeavors.

The GED has progressed over the years. In fact, it has been revised throughout time, with the latest upgrades instigated in 2012. This deed has raised hundreds of concerns, such as the GED being more difficult. But that has been mere hearsay because the number of GED passers continues to rise. The main perk of the test’s latest revision is that the passing score has been reduced to 145, and this is definitely good news to future test-takers.

GED prep classes are varied and diverse. One can choose to study in community colleges where they can attend public classes. Otherwise, they can hire a tutor, or study on their own via online GED test prep classes and study guides. However, there is a more astounding trend in studying for the GED in Las Artes Arts and Education Center located in Tucson, Arizona.

Studying Art As An Avenue Of Studying For The GED

In the Las Artes Arts and Education Center, students aged 17 to 22 years old focus on art as they prep themselves for the GED. Most of the learners in this school have not been successful in traditional high schools. Others have not cared for joining the challenges and drama of high school or may have suffered injuries or illnesses that have obstructed their finishing of secondary education. These individuals took the chance and time to prepare for the GED test because they are dissatisfied with their low-income jobs and limited prospects.

Patty Short, an educational coordinator in Las Artes says that the main goal of their institution is to help students obtain their GED diplomas. However, the crux of their curriculum is the murals class. This sets their program apart from the others because it facilitates students to learn by actually doing. As learners proceed in creating their projects (murals), they develop soft skills and sense of organization. It teaches them about following directions and collaborating with everybody else in the team. It inculcates in them the values of being punctual, independent and responsible. It instills in them the significance of completion or accomplishment.

This GED program of the Les Artes Arts and Education Center runs for 32 weeks. Their classes are categorized as Basic Education I and II, along with Murals and GED classes. Upon enrolment, learners take a placement test in Reading, Math, and Language whose scores will determine which classes they are going to join. Each class is typically comprised of 15 students, and this totals to about 50 or 60 enrollees for the program in the entire school.

Motivation And Self-Expression For Holistic Learning

Les Artes offers stipends of $20 to $50 per week to students who are graduated, and it can increase to $200 (as a bonus) for perfect attendance. Short says that the GED program of their school isn’t easy. Nonetheless, it produces propitious results, with students in the Basic I classes boding a 68% chance of passing the GED, and, upon completion of the program, escalating their odds of a 96% in getting their GED diplomas.

Art can be cathartic as self-expression, and in Les Artes Arts and Education Center, this gives way to more productive learning of soft skills that are necessary to be successful, together with preparatory classes for the GED. It is holistic learning that motivates students to learn by doing, and particularly do something to improve their opportunities when it comes to achieving their personal, academic and career goals.

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Philadelphia Adult Education School Teaches Dropouts GED, Employment And Life Skills

“It’s never too early nor too late to turn a new page in your life.” This is the credo that the coordinators of the JEVS’ Orleans Technical College’s Project WOW live by. And they pass it on to their determined students whose skills and aptitude they harness to enter the professional world.

Gabriel Ramos is one of the outstanding students of Project WOW. During his early days at the program, he was honest to say that he was overwhelmed, especially as he needed to provide for his family with meager means and pursue his education at the same time.  Ramos admitted that he felt beat and depressed because he was not that strong at will. He was bothered by thinking about how he can make it through the day, the week and the month.

Then came Project WOW into the picture. High school dropouts have found their refuge in Project WOW’s  GED preparation and training program. They accept those who are aged 18 to 24. Participants of this project are facilitated with hands-on training in various building trades such as carpentry, electrical, weatherization, plumbing, and now Information Technology. Additionally, they are coached in workshops in the aspects of creating resumes and being fit for job interviews. They are also provided with the opportunities to study and take their GED test.

Ramos was motivated after joining Project WOW. To him, it opened the door to a life that goes beyond worrying about when his next paycheck would arrive. He commented that before taking part in Project WOW, he was simply maintaining his work, home, and work, home routine. “That’s no way to live”, according to Ramos.

Project WOW implements an integration process. Its design is mainly for its participants to go through a personalized experience. The staff takes time to pinpoint the interests of their individual students and devises the best plan for them to achieve success.

One of JEVS’ Project WOW’s youth coordinator is Sylvia Ocasio. She believes in seeing the best potential of their participants. Ocasio in fact guided Ramos through in studying electrical which happens to be his passion and in observing property management classes. All these while Ramos’ wife gave birth to their daughter, which he deemed to be a transformative experience.

Ramos and all the other staff and members of Project WOW have dubbed Ocasio as the “Mother Theresa” of JEV. It’s quite befitting of her, particularly as she adheres to her principle of seeing the potential in each of their students. “That’s just my way of life”, she stated.

Project WOW has come a long way since its inception 15 years ago. At that time, they only trained 3 students. Now, they have 54 enrollees coming from different locations all over Philadelphia. These young people talk about the struggles that beset their lives, including their fears. On the first two days, Ocasia orients them about a safe space wherein they could become productive. The connection that develops between them pushes them forward in tackling their training and ultimately get hold of their goals.

Ramos cites that grabbing the opportunity and taking the leap to allow things to happen. “You’ll never know how far you can go unless you take the first step”, he adds. He has now taken 2 GED tests and is currently being coached for the 2 more by Project WOW. Furthermore, the project continues to support him all the way to finding employment after his graduation.

“Everyone matters, and you can make it here in Project WOW no matter where you come from or what you might have been through”, said Ocasia, who is soon turning 60 years old.

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Florida Rapper Kodak Black Receives His High School Diploma In Jail

Kodak Black, the Florida rapper made good use of his time behind bars by studying to obtain his high school diploma. Since he was incarcerated, Kodak has also changed his name, having been legally known from that time on as Bill K. Kapri.

Kodak was sentenced to serve one year in jail after he was charged with a number of felony cases. These came after his home in Florida was raided by the SWAT in January 2018. Earlier on the same year, Kodak (who is Haitian by descent) had allegedly asked the judge if he could take the GED. This went to say that the rapper had shown improvements in his behavior, and at the same time demonstrated that he wanted to better his education.

It was on June 30 when Kodak finally received his high school diploma. This celebratory news was announced by him on his Instagram account. On his caption, Kodak declared that receiving his high school diploma was a big accomplishment. Yet despite this, he is yearning for more. He mentioned his appreciation to his teachers Mr. Ward and Mr. Williams for having stood by him especially when he would get frustrated. Kodak mentioned that Ward and Williams diligently worked with him, and they made sure that Kodak got hold of the right studying materials so that he would be 100% ready on the big day of taking the GED Test. They all absolutely got their just rewards for taking up those Saturday classes and working overtime. “Momma, I know I’m late, but I got it”, Kodak further commented.

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Power Naps Improve Test-Taking Performance For The GED, SAT And ACT

What is the best approach to acing an exam such as the SAT, ACT or GED? According to research conducted by Kristina Lerman, that is to take “power naps” because they improve a test-taker’s performance. Lerman is the principal scientist of the USC Information Sciences Institute and an associate professor for research at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Computer Science Department.

Lerman, along with her associates Nathan Hodas, Stephen J. Young and Jacob Hunter analyzed the 2.8 million attempts of over 180,000 responders to approximately 6,000 GED, SAT and ACT test questions found in the website The researchers took time to evaluate the tendencies of the participants during the intervals when they stopped and started to solve the pertinent problems and learn from their mistakes while taking the exams. Published in the Journal of Computational Social Science, Lerman and her associates aimed to exhibit the factors at play when performing to take an exam.

The concept at the focus in Lerman’s study is about the energy metabolism in the brain wherein it puts emphasis on the idea of resource depletion. According to the premise of the researchers, the act of answering questions in exams causes a depletion of the brain’s resources that are necessary for effective performance. In their paper entitled “Model of Cognitive Dynamics Predicts Performance on Standardized Tests”, it was cited that answering questions on a standardized exam impairs one’s performance and their ability to figure out the correct answers.

Prolonged mental effort, in fact, cause further depletion of cognitive resources as the test-takers render more focus on their task.

The authors of this study strongly suggest that learners should “take breaks” so that their performance can recover, especially as it tends to decline throughout the duration of their test-taking. Furthermore, one should also resume their task by doing easier ones first and proceed on to those that are more challenging. Test takers should initially warm up by doing easier tasks as they proceed with their test-taking.

The energy in the brain is being expended as somebody thinks. As you think, your brain’s resources become depleted, making this endeavor harder. Along the course of your thinking task (especially when taking an exam), your brain is inclined to get tired, resulting in you making mistakes, Lerman says.

The predilection goes that test-takers are bound to make mistakes at the end of their exam, especially because their brains are tired than during the beginning of their test. It’s the same thing when carrying out with physical activity, such as skiing. Doing one last run is apt to cause an individual to get hurt. This happens because their body is tired of their physical exertion while skiing. The same dynamics take place while thinking, that’s why it makes sense to take breaks when in the middle of doing the sustained mental effort.

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