January 26, 2017

CARTERVILLE — John A. Logan College’s GED program did more than just give a mother and daughter their high school equivalency degree.

“It brought us together,” said Tammy McKay, mother of Amanda Jones. Both women recently attended GED classes at John A. Logan College.

McKay dropped out of high school in 1984. She had children, including Amanda.

Like her mother, Amanda would also drop out of high school. That was in 2006.

Throughout the years, their relationship has had its ups and downs and a myriad of difficulties. It often crossed both of their minds that neither of them had a high school diploma.

One evening, in July, McKay announced that she was going to enroll in John A. Logan College’s GED program and “do something she should have done a long time ago.”

This caught Jones’ attention. “I said if you’re going, I’m going, too.” It was, as the women say, one of the best decisions they’ve ever made in their lives.

“I feel great, I feel like I have accomplished something great,” McKay said. “Sometimes I feel like I start things and then don’t finish them, but this time I did.”

The mother and daughter had something to prove — and if to no one else — to themselves.

“I honestly felt like I wasn’t smart enough to go back to school,” Jones said. “But now I feel like I can accomplish anything.”

The mother and daughter leaned on each other when they became discouraged with classes and studied together to ensure that each of them understood the material being taught.

“At one point, I was going to quit,” McKay said. “But I thought about my daughter and what this meant to both of us and I decided I couldn’t quit. We had to do this together.”

Said Jones, “Through the class, we proved how much we care for each other. We are best friends now. The GED class did this for us.”

McKay is currently employed at a local factory.

Jones has now received a scholarship to enroll in the College Healthcare Bridge program due to her success with the GED program. She starts CNA classes in March.

“What does it mean to me? It means I will be the first of my family to attend college,” she smiled.

The ABE/GED program at John A. Logan College provides an opportunity to earn a GED regardless of how long a person has been out of school. For more information, contact the College Adult Basic Education Counselor Francie Morhet by calling (618) 985-3741 ext. 8901.