(Acworth, Ga. – Jan. 11, 2017)
After experiencing a devastating loss five months ago, a local woman persevered and is well on her way to completing her GED through Chattahoochee Technical College’s Adult Education program. Andrea Newsome’s dedication and tireless effort has not gone unnoticed, as the 32-year-old Acworth woman was recently named the college’s Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education (EAGLE) student.
EAGLE is the first statewide program in the nation that recognizes and rewards excellence among students enrolled in adult education programs. This student recognition program is designed to create greater awareness of educational opportunities that are available in local communities across the state and to foster greater involvement in lifelong learning pursuits.
As the Chattahoochee Technical College EAGLE student, Newsome will now go on to compete against others across the state at the Technical College System of Georgia-sponsored EAGLE Leadership Institute in March. It’s an event that recognizes and honors those students who have demonstrated superior achievement in adult education classes and programs.
The road that led Newsome to Chattahoochee Technical College’s Adult Education program was a long one. In 2014, she enrolled in a Cobb County-based adult education program to provide a better life for her children, but, when faced with increased rent that she could not afford, she dropped out and moved to the Acworth area, where she found an affordable home for her family.
“Once I was settled, I was determined to get back on track,” Newsome said. “I searched for local GED programs in the Acworth area, and I found the Adult Education program at Chattahoochee Technical College. I enrolled that same day.”
Newsome, however, would soon face a great hardship in her life.
“I recently lost my oldest daughter to a fatal syndrome called Sanfilippo (a genetic error of metabolism),” Newsome said. “This has been very difficult for me and my family. I am thankful for CTC because at a very low time in my life they comforted me with encouraging words to stay in school.”
Newsome returned to school at the North Metro Campus just 15 days after losing her 13-year-old daughter.
“Andrea has a drive that exemplifies strength and dedication,” said Transition Program Specialist Jackie Magee. “She was one of only three students who earned a Georgia Department of Labor GeorgiaBEST (soft skills) certification during our pilot program last spring. She has turned her unsurmountable grief into fuel to reach her goal of higher education.”
Since enrolling in the college’s Adult Education program, Newsome has completed two parts of the GED and is on track to complete the science and math components by next month. She will earn a diploma in Cosmetology and an associate degree in Business Management at Chattahoochee Technical College. Upon graduating, she plans on transferring to a four-year university where she hopes to complete her degree in Psychology to one day become a mental health counselor.
“I want to work with disadvantaged families who struggle with all aspects of raising a special needs child. I have extensive experience in this area, and I feel that I can be an asset to those who are beginning this journey,” she said, adding that Chattahoochee Tech has changed her life for the better. “The Adult Education program at CTC has helped me to see the light to continue my dreams, given the many obstacles along the way. It taught me perseverance. I now have confidence that I am able to learn and be a role model.”
For more information about the college’s Adult Education program, please visit www.ChattahoocheeTech.edu.