After more than ten years of helping adults in Northwest Georgia learn the gift of reading, Georgia Northwestern Technical College GED staffer Gail Walker has received one of her program’s highest honors.
GNTC Assistant Director of Adult Education Coleen Brooks awarded her long-time co-worker with the prestigious GEDD Award in a ceremony held Wednesday on the Gordon County Campus of Georgia Northwestern in Calhoun, Georgia. Walker, who was the student of the year in the GED program in 2001-2002, is the 2013 winner of the honor. “The GEDD award stands for Goals, Excellence, Determination, and Difference,” said Brooks.
The GEDD Award is given each year by the college’s GED program to an alumnus who has succeeded in the world after receiving a GED. Walker first began working at GNTC in 2002, shortly after earning her diploma, as a part-time instructional assistant. Four years later, the college made her a full-time employee and she has excelled at that position ever since.
Walker, the 11th of 12 children in her family, began working at fifteen years of age when she was a car hop at the Chow Time restaurant in Rome, Georgia. “Her desire to work hard for everything in life has been there since the beginning and simply has not changed,” said Brooks.
Never finishing her high school career as a teenager, she would end up at Outboard Marine Corporation in Calhoun, Georgia. She would work there until 2001. That’s when the nationwide company would close its doors for good. What started as a temporary lay-off of four weeks, ended up being permanent for 7,000 employees across the United States; 600 of which were employed at the Calhoun plant.
Without a high school diploma, Walker knew she’d have to earn one to be able to move forward and succeed. “It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life,” said Walker. “Getting your GED is a second chance for so many people. I’m glad I realized what a great opportunity this was for me.” Walker’s student of the year award (EAGLE award) in 2002 allowed her to represent the college’s GED program on the state level. “So many opportunities have come my way as a result of me making that one decision to get my diploma,” said Walker.
The Georgia Northwestern GED program has graduated more than 2,000 students who have went on to collegiate and professional careers as a result of their their educational achievements.
For more information on Georgia Northwestern’s GED program, visit the college’s website at www.GNTC.edu. Georgia Northwestern is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an equal opportunity institute.