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85 Year Old Graduates From SWGTC With His GED

Walter Jordan receives GED at 85

In February 2011, Mr. Walter Jordan, a Thomas County resident, completed the courses required to receive his General Education Diploma (GED). Jordan entered the GED program at Southwest Georgia Technical College (SWGTC) originally to motivate his great-grandson to complete his GED and receive his diploma. However, along the way Jordan’s great-grandson opted out of the GED program. Although he lost the support of his great-grandson, Jordan persevered. He continued to take his classes and graduate with his GED at 85 years of age. This made Jordan the oldest GED recipient in the state of Georgia for the year 2011, earning him the title of Golden Eagle GED Graduate of the Year.  Each year the oldest GED graduate is awarded with the Golden Eagle award and honored at a ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia.  This ceremony, which will be on October 13, 2011, is the Technical College System of Georgia’s Annual GED Awards Luncheon where some of Georgia’s best and brightest GED diploma recipients are recognized. 

“Mr. Jordan serves as a wonderful example of what can happen when you believe in yourself and are willing to work with all your heart to achieve a goal.  He is an inspiration to our students, both young and old, and a testimony to the benefits of life-long learning,” commented Dale Aldridge, GED Program Director.

Jordan is a proud father of five children, three of who are still living today. He dropped out of school in 7th grade and never returned. He later served in the military for three years, where he spent 18 months as a member of the 8th Armored Infantry and also served in Germany in the 3rd Constabulary Services. Jordan was also a long distance truck driver for close to 35 years where he traveled throughout the United States. In 1985, Jordan retired from the trucking profession to Atlanta, Georgia. From there he spent time traveling and eventually settled in Ochlocknee, Georgia, where he currently resides.

“I always wanted to get me GED and never had the chance to go back when I was younger because I worked all the time. I wanted to encourage my great-grandson to pursue his dreams but I ended up fulfilling mine. Being back in the classroom after 70 years felt very strange, but I do not regret my decision to return to school. The feeling of achieving my goal and receiving my GED is a feeling that is very hard to explain,” stated Jordan.

While in the GED program at SWGTC, Jordan thoroughly enjoyed his education. He believes he was able to push through the hard hours of classes because the program let you work at your own pace. It also allowed students plenty of one-on-one time with the instructors. Now that Jordan has received his GED from SWGTC, he plans to enroll in the Computer Support Program come Spring Semester 2012.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a person with a high school diploma or GED will earn $7,658 more annually than a non-high school graduate. For more information on the GED Program at Southwest Georgia Technical College please call Dale Aldridge at (229) 225-5293.

While not everyone has the same kind of life or story as Mr. Jordan, everyone has some sort of story to tell. Whether you never completed high school 5 years ago or 40, it is never too late to go back. That is one message that Southwest Georgia Technical College wants to always promote. So keep in mind that your dreams can be fulfilled just like Walter Jordan’s did, if you only take a chance on yourself!

Spring Semester 2012 begins January 4th! Don’t wait, enroll today!

Southwest Georgia Technical College is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.

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