By Martha Clark
Encouragement from his parents is what Wayne Phillips Jr. says is the main reason he enrolled in GED® Prep classes to help him earn his high school diploma.
If everything had worked perfectly in Wayne’s educational career, he would have graduated in 2018. Like many students, however, everything didn’t go as planned, and Wayne failed sixth grade. When he got to high school, he began to struggle and left school after his junior year.
“I feel like it would have been better for me to just come straight to ACE (Adult & Community Education School) after my sophomore year before I got so discouraged,” the affable 19-year-old explained.
“I got more one-on-one help at ACE and I could focus on fewer subjects and work at my own pace. At ACE, completing assignments is more about learning the lesson than getting it done by a certain time. It doesn’t feel so rushed.”
Wayne pointed out, “The teachers have time to help you and work with you to understand the material, not just get through it.” He said he is recommending ACE to many of his friends who would do better focusing on fewer subjects at a time and being in class fewer hours each day with more time to work a job.
Now that Wayne has earned his high school diploma he said, “I feel good! I feel like anything is achievable for me at this point!”
He said before he came to ACE he didn’t know if he would ever have a high school diploma. “My Mom and Dad were constantly saying, ‘You need to get up and go do something to get your GED.®” They would tell me, “You need some accountability to study. You need to go to ACE.”
It took Wayne nearly a year and a half after he started at ACE to pass the GED® test. “I would have finished earlier, but when COVID came it really slowed my progress down. I was eager to get back to classes!” It took Wayne less than two months to finish after in-person classes resumed in the fall.
Wayne continued, “I was so happy to go home and tell my Mom, I won’t be going to school tomorrow. At first, she got upset and started to get on to me about being in class until I told her, I don’t have to go because I passed the last test!” the smiling graduate explained. “She hugged me and told me how proud she was of me. Then I called my Dad at work and told him! He also told me how proud he was of me!”
Wayne is planning to start the welding program at Lively Technical College in January. “Welding offers a good salary, it’s useful and is in high demand,” he said. “It’s something that I can do to take care of myself and a family.”