HOUSTON – It’s not the route any of them wanted to go to get their GED, but they are looking to the future and doors it may open.
Five inmates at the Chickasaw County Regional Correctional Facility recently earned their GED (General Education Development) diploma and were the focus of a quick graduation ceremony complete with refreshments and snacks.
“Getting your GED is not as easy as people think,” said Joseph Austin, who graduated with top honors from the class. “It takes time and you’ve got to study.”
Austin said he ran a detail shop before he was incarcerated and hopes the math and English will help him with starting another business when he gets out.
“I do feel like I’ve got a better future with a diploma in my hand,” said Austin. “It’s tough to get a job now days and it’s even tougher if you don’t even have a high school education.”
Jeremy Morris was second in the class and said the math was the hardest part.
“I had already finished some of the other courses, but didn’t have the math,” said Morris. “The people here helped me and I studied hard. I’ve got it now and I’m proud of it.”
Aaron Williams said anyone who thinks they can quit high school, show up, take a test and earn their GED is sadly mistaken.
“Earning your GED is a lot harder than people think and I guess it wouldn’t be worth anything if it was easy to get,” said Williams. “You have to study and study a lot to pass that test.”
Warden Brand Huffman said the Correctional Facility tries to do three GED classes a year.
“It does take time and it’s not easy for some of these guys,” said Huffman. “We’ve got instructors who come in and help them with this, but they’ve got to put forth the effort.”
Huffman pointed out the Correctional Facility also offers computer classes but inmates must first hold a GED diploma.
“We are proud of this program and we are proud to see these guys accomplish this,” said Huffman. “We try to get our inmates ready for life after incarceration.”
Inmates at the Chickasaw County Regional Correctional Facility who earned their GED were Valedictorian Joseph Austin, Salutorian Jeremy Morris, Sam Seymore, Terry Jordan and Aaron Williams.
CCRCF Supervisor John Freeman monitored inmates in the program.