My name is Katherine Bryant, and I am 64 years young, a mother of five, and a grandmother of 23. I left high school at the age of 17 to help care for my sick mother. And honestly, leaving was not a hard choice because I didn’t love school and there were plenty of jobs.
After my mom died, I got married, started a family, and got a job. I worked in day care, food services, and home health care. I left work at the Naval Hospital when my husband got sick. After I lost him, I worked at a day care center, but I lost that job and was not hired for another because I do not have a high school diploma.
I passed Southeast Ministry, an adult education program in Washington D.C., for years and would say, “I’m going to get my GED.” It’s not that I didn’t have time, I was just afraid. I was afraid of how people would look at me, afraid to tackle the problem I have with math, and afraid that I just could not do it.
I could no longer ignore the fact that I needed a high school diploma, so I had to put my big girl pants on and face it. “I’ve got to get my GED!” But I still had this fear and doubt in me. In church, we are taught that God didn’t give us fear, nor did he give us doubt. So one day in February of 2018, I walked through the door at Southeast Ministry.
I could not have asked for better teachers. Ms. Savoy, my math teacher, teaches us how to use math every day in our lives. I can’t remember what my pretest score was when I started, but I know I have improved with math, based on the classwork and posttest score. She acted as if it was her score—since she was more excited than I was.
There are many people out here just like me who would love to receive their GED and get a job. I know that I will be walking across stage to receive my high school diploma very soon.