Haywood Community College recently held a GED/AHS graduation ceremony where about 80 students received diplomas or certificates for their hard work. While these non-traditional students each have a unique story to tell, they all found furthering their education will mean furthering their goals and dreams.

Nancy Crasshold quit high school when she was 16 to raise her younger siblings. Since then, she has a small business in Maggie Valley but still felt it was important to receive a GED.

For Sara Eisenhardt, Haywood Early College classes were just too much for her to handle. She received an Adult High School diploma from the Alternative Learning Center at the event. “I have an overwhelming sense of accomplishment,” she told those gathered at the event. “Now I can put that I am a high school graduate on job applications.” She would like to continue her education to become a zoologist.

For Damien McElroy, Sr., he received a GED not only for himself but for his son. “I didn’t want my little boy to quit school when he is 16 like I did.” McElroy worked full-time and volunteered at the fire department while going to school. “It would have been a lot easier years ago,” he says.

Day, evening, and online classes are available through the Adult High School Program. Anyone interested in obtaining a GED may choose from two convenient options: the traditional classroom setting or online classes. For additional information about obtaining a GED or the AHS Program, please call 627-4643.