Through a Dollar General Foundation grant, a partnership between Northern Transformation, a local 503c(3) organization, Michigan Works! and Clare Pioneer was formed to offer GED preparation classes and testing. Currently 30 students have earned their GED with an additional 10 close to completion.
Of the almost 250 GED tests taken, 243 were passed. This was partially due to the teaching of Ed Huble, Clare Pioneer. “I think in life, we all screw up but this group did not give up. There is a big difference between giving up and screwing up,” said Huble. While attending preparation classes, a tight knit bond between the instruction staff of Ed Huble, Michigan Works staff of Bonnie Smalley and Shari Diffin and the students occurred.
After dropping out of school before, Autumn Truitt found a place of encouragement and trust with the Michigan Works GED program. “Here Ed sat down and explained everything until we knew. He never gave up on us. If it was not for Ed and Bonnie, I would not have finished. We all worked really hard to get here today. I’m in college now and am finally doing something with my life,” said Truitt.
The thirty students were able to receive caps and gowns for the actual graduation ceremony which was a feat unthinkable for most of these students. “It would not have been possible for me to graduate without Ed or Bonnie. If you have walls, they would break them down. You can become a winner,” stated Tabatha Dehorta. The first person in her family to walk across the stage and graduate, Tabatha was all smiles while attending a small celebration in honor of all the graduates. “There is nothing that can top this feeling. It is worth staying up to midnight to study for a test and get up the next day. I wanted to walk and have my cap and gown and now I do,” said Dehorta who was also named the Clare County Michigan Works! Alumni of the Year for her accomplishments.