It gives a whole new meaning to making a family event out of a graduation.
Frances Smolen and her two daughters, Ann Marie Penrow and Elizabeth Hope Raines, all recently graduated together from Augusta Technical College's General Equivalency Diploma program.
"It was a great experience," Raines said. "Having my family there with me really kept me motivated."
Smolen was first to begin the literacy class, held at Marvin United Methodist Church in Martinez, which prepares students to successfully pass the GED test.
After raving about the program to her daughters, they soon followed suit.
The literacy class, instructed by Leola Bouchard, teaches the basics skills needed in each area of the GED test.
All three women chose to pursue their GEDs to improve their employment outlook and possibly to go on to higher education.
"I wanted to get a better, higher-paying job," Smolen said. "And getting my GED could help me do that."
After having a child, Raines wanted to pursue her GED to help better provide for her baby.
The women said the class was a wonderful resource in preparing them for the test.
"The class was really great," Raines said. "Ms. Bouchard was just wonderful. Anytime I needed help, I could call her and she'd do whatever she could to help me."
All three said passing the GED test and their graduation day were proud moments.
"It felt really good," Smolen said, "especially having my daughters there with me."
Obtaining their GEDs was just a beginning for the women, who plan to continue their educations.
"The class was a great way to get started," said Smolen, adding that she would like to attend Augusta State University, followed by law school at Mercer University.
Raines hopes to become an occupational therapist.
"This has allowed me to go on to do what I really want to do with my life," she said.
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