Trinity Valley Community College

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Athens, TX 75751
(903) 675-6322 and (903) 675-6327

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GED Inspires Lifelong Learning
Posted: 7/14/2016 3:16:07 PM

Grady Pendleton receives his GED certificate from TVCC Associate VP of Workforce Education David McAnally

Grady Pendleton receives his GED certificate from TVCC Associate VP of Workforce Education David McAnally
Grady Pendleton didn’t have it too bad for a guy who never finished high school. “Algebra is the reason I dropped out,” he said. “I never got math.” Early on, he found work in the oil field, worked his way up from the bottom to a managerial job and made a pretty good living.
Then the oil field work dried up and he quickly learned that without an education, his chances of replacing that same level of income were slim. “When I quit school, I made a promise to my dad that I would get my GED,” he said, “and now I had the perfect opportunity to do it.”
After trying to do classes online with no success, he took a friend’s advice and walked through the door of the Adult Education department at Trinity Valley Community College, where he met Adult Education Director Chris Hicks and Transition Coordinator Natalie Brown, and “I knew right then that I was in the right place.”
Accustomed to hard work, Pendleton asked if he could attend two sessions a day to complete his GED study as quickly as possible. “Grady was in class every time we had our doors open, morning and night,” said Brown. “With his dedication, I never had any concerns of him reaching his goal.” He learned to love math, and even became somewhat of a cheerleader and tutor for other students. He says one of his instructors asked him to come back and help teach math.
 “You’ve got to want it in your heart,” he said of the work involved, “and I wanted to make sure I graduated before my grandson did. He’s 11.” He passed the test and received his GED at graduation in June. He now owns a truck and runs for-hire freight loads as his own boss.
His advice to parents of students who are struggling? “If your kids come home and tell you they hate school, you’ve got to ask ‘why’ and get to the root of their struggle. When I quit school, I never thought I would need it as much as I did. But the higher up I got (in the company), the further behind I was…the more I needed (the education).”
Grady says attaining his GED has made him hungry for more, that he would like to work toward a degree. “Mr. Pendleton’s dedication and commitment got the job done,” said Hicks. “We are so proud of him and the new opportunities available to him now that he has his GED. He is dedicated to lifelong learning.”
His wife asked what he was going to do with the stack of books he had used…was he going to throw them away? He answered, “I’m going to keep them because I’m not through with them yet. There’s a lot more in them that I don’t know.”