NIC GED Graduation Ceremony to be held May 3

GED grad 

Several hundred family and friends turned out for last year’s GED Graduation at NIC. This year, about 230 students will graduate Thursday, May 3, at NIC’s Boswell Hall Schuler Auditorium. The ceremony starts at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Melodee Bryan-Metzmaker dropped out of high school three times—not because of academic challenges, but personal ones.

“My home life was difficult,” she said. “It wasn’t easy to go to school, no matter what kind of school I tried.”

It finally became too hard to manage school along with the rest of her life, she said. Not completing high school was a major point of insecurity, especially because she had always been considered “academically gifted” and enjoyed learning. The lack of a diploma was also an obstacle, holding her back.

“It was something I didn’t like about myself. It made getting a job harder,” Bryan-Metzmaker said.

Originally from Michigan, Bryan-Metzmaker moved to Idaho last year. Her life was more stable than ever, she said, and she decided to try once again to get her GED—this time, through the Adult Education Center (AEC) at North Idaho College.

AEC is a program designed for individuals 16 years of age and older who have withdrawn from public school and want assistance to prepare for the GED Test. The center also serves adults who have graduated but want to upgrade their basic skills.

Tuition is free and most materials are provided. Students are allowed to progress at their own pace, and small-group instruction helps them to achieve individual goals.

The instruction and support that Bryan-Metzmaker received at NIC made all the difference, she said. She attended every class she could and engaged in class discussions, which helped her to absorb information.

“There wasn’t so much pressure that it made my anxiety so bad that I didn’t want to go,” she said. “It was a welcoming atmosphere.”

At almost 20 years old, Bryan-Metzmaker has earned her GED. Not only has it improved her education and job opportunities, she said, but it’s changed the way she sees herself.

“Since getting my GED, I’ve been more confident in everything I do,” she said. “I’m excited for the future.”

Donna Beggs, NIC Silver Valley Center Adult Education instructor, said Bryan-Metzmaker has been an “exemplary student,” as well as a leader.

“Along with her desire to learn, she also has an interest in helping others and has volunteered to work with other math students through peer-assisted learning,” Beggs said. “She’s an awesome student to have in class.”

Bryan-Metzmaker said she plans to study American Sign Language at NIC, then transfer to a four-year college.

“I’m hard of hearing myself,” she said. “I have communication issues. ASL has been something that opened doors for me and made communicating with others much easier.”

Earning her GED isn’t Bryan-Metzmaker’s only recent accomplishment: She’ll also be the student speaker at the GED graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 3, at NIC’s Boswell Hall Schuler Auditorium at 7 p.m. Graduation is free and open to the public.

While she’s a little nervous about delivering a speech, she said she’s eager to express what the GED program has done for her.

“I’m proud of it,” she said. “I’m excited to show that I enjoyed the GED program and that it changed my life.”

Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2018

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