The 2014 national rate of students who pass their GED test is 59%. In Alabama, the pass rate is 53%. The number of local students who studied for their GED through the Bishop State Community College program was 156 in 2014; 63 took the test and 33 (52%) passed.
Statistics don't always show the struggles of those who finally achieve success, but one of those people, Shahimn Ruan, shared his story recently in the GED newsletter. His road toward success and the obstacles along the way are detailed below, with permission of Abbie Lee Deese, MS, Recruitment/Retention Specialist Adult Education at Bishop State. It is repeated here to encourage others traveling the same highway that Shahimn traversed.
"My name is Shahimn Ruan. I am 18 years old now, but my journey began when I was 17," Ruan writes. He was in foster care when he was 16 and didn't want to go to high school, so he elected to study for his GED and began classes at Revelation Baptist Church. There, Ruan said, "I met a nice sweet lady named Odessa McCaine, my GED teacher. She encouraged me every day in class and lifted my spirit by telling me to 'never settle for less,' which made me press my way through."
He made his first attempt at the GED test in September, 2013, and passed everything except math. His score was 380; he needed 410 to pass. "I felt down, but I didn't give up," Ruan said. He went back to studying and took the test a month later; again, he did not pass the math portion. "I just wanted to say 'Forget it,' and go backward." But a friend suggested a tutor, and after studying a few weeks, he took the test once more and scored 420 on math. "I was so happy all I could say was, "Thank you, Jesus!'" the persistent student said.
Ruan went on to enroll in the Welding Program at Bishop State Community College in January 2014. "My instructor, Mr. Moore, encouraged me to by myself and said, 'You get out what you put in,' and other instructors encouraged me, too, with 'You will get a job,'" Ruan said.
It took another year for him to graduate with a Certificate in Structural Welding, and two weeks later, he had a job. "I give God all the glory; I would not have made it without Him," Ruan said.
Shahimn Ruan's road to success was not without stumbling blocks that discouraged him and made him want to give up. But he persevered, and to others, he had this to say: “Do not settle for less and whatever your goal is, see that you reach it, press your way to it, never give up and put your trust in God.”
For more information on GED sites, dates and other details, call Deese at (251) 662-5395.