For some students, high school simply isn’t a good fit. It wasn’t for Brett Parker. He attended high school until his junior year and then left, for a variety of reasons. He worked landscaping and grounds jobs and eventually ended up taking construction jobs. He noticed that he’d need to join a union to receive better pay and job possibilities. But without a high school diploma, he wasn’t eligible for union membership.
“Because I didn't have my GED, I was stuck,” said Parker. “I needed it to further my career; I really need it for just about anything.”
So, at the age of 28, Parker decided to go back to school, in a sense.
Parker contacted Francis Kasper in the Pokagon Department of Education; he works with citizens who are interested in earning their GED. The first step, according to Kasper, is to test the student to see what subjects he might need help in. Then, the student will be matched up with individual tutors and study guides if necessary, for refreshing knowledge on a subject.
"Having a GED can make a big difference for someone,” said Kasper. “He or she can go on to more vocational/technical training, military service, or higher education. Their earning potential is higher too.”
Parker started in August.
“I took the GED practice test and did well and then took the GED real test,” he said. “It took about three months. Now I can join a union, get an apprenticeship, and become a journeyman electrician. I’d like to start my own business someday.”
Kasper says that 61 citizens have passed the GED since 2015. He’d like to help more.
“I’d recommend calling Francis,” said Parker. “If you're stuck in a rut there are not a lot of career options until you further your education.”
If you’re interested in earning your GED, contact Francis Kasper at the Department of Education at (269) 462-4234 or Francis.Kasper@PokagonBand-nsn.gov.