With jobs harder to come by many employers now want their employees to have some sort of degree. It's a hurdle those who didn't graduate college face every day. On Wednesday, more than 30 people cleared that obstacle earning a GED from Apollo Career Center.
Pomp and circumstance in the air for 30 some graduates of Apollo Career Center, but these aren't your traditional students. They all dropped out of high school, and decided, in some cases years later, to get their GED. Bridgett Zeisloft did it for her son.
"My son was having problems in school at the time and I thought you know, if mom showed him that she can do it, then he can do it," She said.
Brittani Castle did it for her family too, but she says even just signing up for classes wasn't easy.
"I was nervous, when I first went in I was like, oh my gosh, I'm this old coming back, but after I kept going and got to know the teachers it was nice, they made you feel really homey and didn't make you feel like because you don't know this you're stupid," Castle said.
Both Zeisloft and Castle say at times, they weren't sure if they would make it. Math was their biggest challenge.
"I'm not going to lie, I failed my first math test, but I went back and you know what, I passed it with flying colors, so I mean if you just really try it's not hard at all," Zeisloft said.
"Once we got to geometry I was like I cannot do this, I almost gave up," Castle said.
But both knew a GED was their key to a brighter future.
"If you want to better your future and have a good job you need it, not even if you want to go to college, but if you want a good job now-a-days they want to see that diploma," Castle said.
"Without that first step, that GED or high school diploma you've almost penalized yourself more than you even know, so this is a first step, a critical step, then you can move right on into a college degree or anywhere else you can go with your life," Apollo Superintendent Judy Wells, said.
For Zeisloft, Castle, and about half their graduating class this won't be the last time they walk across a stage and receive a diploma.
"I know it's not very hard but it was a big step and for me it's a really big accomplishment," Zeisloft said.
Those enrolled in the English for Speakers of Other Languages students also received certificates tonight.