Perseverance and Determination: The Freeland Adams Story | BSCTC

Perseverance and Determination: The Freeland Adams Story

Freeland AdamsGrowing up in remote rural Appalachia, Freeland Adams was raised in his grandparents' old mining home with no running water. He helped his mother with his younger siblings, but having the necessities for school, such as clothes and supplies, was not a privilege.


Despite the hardships at home, Adams was an advanced student during his early school years. However, being advanced came with disadvantages. He often found himself frustrated by the lack of challenge and the opportunity to advance. He quit school by the 9th grade.

Since education wasn't working for him, he returned to his roots and joined the workforce in Harts Creek in Logan, a tree-cutting and mining town in West Virginia. He began digging footers but quickly discovered that small spaces weren't for him.

After a short stint with small trade jobs, Adams decided in 1996 to begin obtaining his GED. He was certain that earning his GED would help him earn a better living and get the most out of his future. Dedicated to the task, Adams, who didn't have a car, would hitchhike, get rides from friends, or make the 3–4-mile journey on foot.

Despite his determination and the constant positive influence of Mrs. Glick, his GED instructor, he couldn't find the confidence to take the test. "I have regretted that decision for the past 23 years," stated Adams.

Good things did come to Adams during those years of regret. He met and married his wife, Julia, and had a daughter named Brooklyn. These blessings enhanced the longing to earn a better living. He spent time working at KFC, Wendy's, and Wal-Mart but obtaining his GED never left his mind.

Adams suffered health issues during this time, including a mild heart attack. However, he would always rebound and continue working. In addition to his health problems, his mother suddenly passed away.

As Adams' daughter prepared for her middle school graduation, she gave him a piece of advice that he would never forget:

"Dad, you need to get your GED."  

Brooklyn's words, coupled with his wife's encouragement, were exactly what he needed to return to GED classes. "I was a little intimidated at first," Adams admitted, "but I went to the Pikeville campus of BSCTC and began again."

Sarah Bentley, a GED instructor at BSCTC, shared her thoughts, "Freeland always worked hard to obtain his GED, whether in person or online with other instructors. Seeing his determination and perseverance to overcome his challenges was so inspiring. I love my job for this very reason. It's always a team effort, and we love celebrating every milestone with our students."

"The instructors were second to none and kept encouraging me. They pushed me and wouldn't let me quit," said Adams. He soon found himself face-to-face with the day he had dreaded for 23 years. It was time to take the GED test. Sadly, the news wasn't what Adams wanted. He had failed by one point. "I broke down. I literally cried. I wanted this so badly, and I was so upset! However, my teachers kept pushing me and refused to let me stop and walk out," said Adams. 


Perseverance paid off. Adams tested again – and passed! It was an emotional moment. He said, "I broke down, and I cried. It was such a humbling experience. I finally had my GED, I wished my mom was here to know I finally passed, but my wife and my daughter encouraged me the entire way, and now I have it! I am using my head for more than just a hat rack."  

Freeland Adams obtained his lifelong dream of securing his GED, graduating with his peers this past June at the Mountain Arts Center. He will start his first college course in August.

If you have a similar story to Freeland Adams, let his determination and perseverance motivate you to do the same. BSCTC's GED instructors will meet you at the door. Give them a call at 606-788-2887.