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PAINTSVILLE ROTARY RECOGNIZES JOHNSON COUNTY ADULT EDUCATION, GED RECIPIENTS

Members of the Paintsville Rotary Club and Johnson County Adult Education pose with GED recipients Everett Ratliff and Tim Wade at a meeting Tuesday, August 19, at the Carriage House Hotel and Conference Center.

Two years ago, the Paintsville Rotary Club made a commitment to help offset the cost of the GED test for two Johnson County residents.

They got to witness, firsthand, their commitment in action during a meeting held on Tuesday, August 19, at the Carriage House Hotel and Conference Center.

Dr. Jennifer Leedy, director of Johnson County Adult Education, introduced Everett Ratliff and Tim Wade to the group of community leaders.

It wasnt easy for these guys, but its not easy taking the plunge and going after your GED, said Leedy. These two men had to overcome obstacles, but they persevered.

Ratliff, 47, of Van Lear, had tried two other times to complete his GED.

Something always came in the way, he said. Some of those obstacles were in my head, but I am so thankful that I had to chance to work with Jennifer [Leedy] and her staff. When I felt like I couldnt do it, they were always there to pick me up.

Ratliff said his father was instrumental in his desire to complete his GED.

My father actually came with me for a while to class, Ratliff added. He told me that this was the first step in securing a better future.

After earning his GED in June, Ratliff enrolled in the welding technology program on the Mayo campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Early in his career, he worked as a welder and now his hopes are to brush up on industry-leading training to find work.

Its just exciting to be in college and on track to earn a credential, he said. I wouldnt be where I am today if it wasnt for people like Jennifer and the folks at Adult Education.

Wade, 18, struggled in high school. After dropping out of school, he worked odd jobs and quickly found out that wasnt enough.

I felt like my life was wasting away, he said. You always hear about education and the importance of it, but being out in the real world with no education delivered a gut check.

Wade finished his GED earlier this month and is enrolled in the Electrical Technology program through Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky (AOKY), an initiative that blends adult education and technical training that leads to an industry leading credential.

Im very lucky, he said. I feel like the pieces are in place for me to build a brighter future.

To learn more about Johnson County Adult Education, contact Dr. Leedy at (606) 788-2827 or email jennifer.leedy@kctcs.edu