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Everyone deserves second chance at an education

Staff Report • Jun 29, 2012 at 12:53 PM

A story earlier this week on the Johnson City Adult Education GED program shows what determined people can do when given a second chance.

As Press staff writer Jennifer Sprouse reported in Saturday’s paper, Lori Cummings was forced to leave high school when she became pregnant. Years later, she decided to overcome her dread of math and earn her GED.

She wanted to set a good example for her own children, including her 17-year-old daughter, Robin, who also dropped out of school in the ninth grade after falling in with the wrong crowd. On Friday, both mother and daughter collected their GEDs.

Far too many Tennesseans never know the joy and sense of accomplishment that Lori and Robin Cummings now feel. At least one-fifth of working-age Tennesseans don’t have a high school diploma. This presents a hurdle for many workers when it comes to finding decent-paying jobs.

Tennessee has seen its high school graduation rate improve in recent years, thanks to comprehensive programs aimed at keeping students in school. That’s a start, but there is still much more work to be done. And that’s where programs like the Johnson City Adult GED are so very important.

Sometimes people need a second chance.

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