'It’s Never Too Late' to get an education in HCC’s Adult Education Program

May 06, 2013
Photo by: Debra Davis Above, Corey Robinson scored the highest GED score for the last decade at HCC. His score is the equivalent of the top 1 percent of graduating seniors nationwide. Below, next, Thomas Anderson, center, celebrates with his parents, (pictured from left ) Robin Anderson and Donald Anderson. Below, middle, Amanda Bumgarner, Adult High School graduate, is now enrolled in HCC’s pre-nursing program. Below, last photo, Sharon Cagle knew that starting a new chapter meant getting an education.

Graduates of Haywood Community College’s GED and Adult High School Programs will tell anyone that getting the credential is something you have to work for. They will also say it is worth the effort.
“If I can do it,” says Sharon Cagle, 2013 GED graduate, “anyone can do it.”
Cagle quit school in 10th grade, raised a son, and worked in food service for more than 30 years. She found that in order to start a new chapter, getting an education was the only way.
“Once I passed the first test, I was inspired,” Cagle says. “I decided to take it one subject at a time. If I didn’t pass a test, I told myself I would try again.”
Cagle was determined. The middle age student has suffered strokes which affected her memory. She says she hopes she was encouragement to younger students and is so proud she achieved her goal. In fact, she was named the GED Award student for the year. Now, Cagle hopes to work in a medical office.
For Kenny Escucha, he always thought graduating was something you were supposed to do. He always pressed the importance of education to his daughter. Now more than 20 years after leaving high school in 11th grade, Escucha received his GED.
Escucha felt at home the minute he walked in HCC’s Adult Education Department. “I finished something I should have done a long time ago,” he says. “It was a long time coming and it’s something to be proud of. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”
Escucha has a successful construction business. But now he will start school again for a degree in information technology, something else he has always wanted to do.
“Everybody goes through hurdles but it’s not too late to come back to school,” Escucha says. “I was determined to do this.”
For Amanda Bumgarner, Adult High School graduate, finishing high school was a matter of just a few credits. Like Escucha, she started a small business that had her working between 60 and 70 hours per week but it was not fulfilling. Now 13 years after high school, she finished the program so she can embark on a nursing degree and a new career.
Bumgarner is now a student at HCC in pre-nursing. “My grandmother was a nurse and I looked up to her. Now this is a small tribute to her that I follow in her footsteps.”
Bumgarner received the AHS Award for 2013.
For the first time, HCC’s PCs for GED Program awarded all graduates who applied a refurbished computer at this year’s ceremony.  This green initiative is aimed at helping members of the community discard old PC computer equipment while supporting the educational success of HCC GED graduates.
Day, evening, and online classes are available through the Adult High School and GED Programs. For information about obtaining a GED or the AHS Program,  call 627-4648.