Community Kitchen has first graduate
CANTON – Marshal Putnam, 22, is the first graduate of GED classes held at The Community Kitchen. The classes, which are conducted by Haywood Community College, started in the spring. Putnam said he began the classes on April 28 and took his last test on Sept. 27.
Putnam explained that there were many obstacles to coming to class but he wanted to keep at it to get a good job. On good weather days he works in logging with his father. His goal is to take welding.
“HCC has one of the best welding programs in the state,” he said.
The GED classes are free and are held every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 3 p.m. at The Community Kitchen, 98 Pisgah Drive. Students are able to come to class around their work schedules or child care.
“We are very glad Haywood Community College was willing to work with us to start these classes,” said Rev. Beverly Brock, director of The Community Kitchen. “So many times we see folks here who didn’t finish high school and have to take minimum wage jobs or seasonal jobs. A GED is step closer to better jobs or higher education. I just wish we had more folks taking advantage of these classes.”
“One of the strengths of the GED program is that it enables busy people to earn their certificate,” said instructor Sam Edwards. “It’s flexible enough that they can work around their existing schedule. “
Putnam said he began classes at HCC’s main campus two years ago but frequently could not get rides to the school so he didn’t finish. “This time it was a whole lot easier on me,” he said as his commute was just crossing the street.
“Marshal was evidently very sharp intellectually when he came in,” said Edwards. “And even though he had a very irregular work schedule he put the time in. The speed it can be completed depends how much someone puts toward it.”