SHEPHERDSVILLE - Making something good out of a bad situation.
For 10 young adults incarcerated at the Bullitt County Detention Center, that something good happened on Monday.
Jason Bates, Brandon Jones, Adam Moore, Traci Pierson and Vashus Watts participated in the Bullitt County Adult Education GED graduation ceremony.
Also graduating but not participating in the commencement exercise were Brenton Byrd, Michael Hall, Andrea Higdon and Amanda Swartz.
For Vashus Watts, it was a big day and a major accomplishment.
With her oldest son preparing to graduate this spring, Watts said she’s ready to throw a big graduation party for both of them once she serves out her time.
“Our dreams have come true,” said Watts. “I’m so proud of myself.”
She said that the instructors and the jail staff pushed and encouraged her to obtain her GED.
She hoped this would encourage others to do likewise.
“Good comes from bad,” said Watts.
Adam Moore dropped out of school when he was 16.
Since that time, he has worked on and off to get his GED.
Finally, with the push of the jail staff and the encouragement from instructors, Moore earned it certificate.
He wants to continue his education and some day become a social worker or a counselor.
Brandon Jones didn’t need a GED when he worked in the coal mines of eastern Kentucky.
But he realizes that he does need an education if he wants to become a welder and return to the mines.
Not expecting to speak to the audience, Jones said that due to the faith instructors Sheila Hendricks, David Wells, Margaret Hardesty-Day Johnson, Janis Gentry and Barbara Elliott had in him every Monday, he had to show his faith in them.
Elliott, a retired educator and retired principal at Bullitt Central High, said it’s not easy to get a GED. She was proud of the hard-work and commitment shown by the inmates.
“It’s a milestone,” said Elliott.
Johnson said that there are two gifts a person can give themselves - an education and salvation. Both are very important.
She congratulated the young adults for working hard and making the commitment to earn the GED.
Gentry said she had a granddaughter who struggled with some of life’s challenges and fought hard to earn her GED. Now, she is close to becoming a licensed practical nurse.
“Don’t give up,” said Gentry.
Jailer Martha Knox said the entire staff is proud of the hard work and dedication shown by the graduates.
She said that while they were in jail, they were able to accomplish something in their lives.
Knox said having a GED might be a way to break down some barriers to getting jobs once they are released.
“Use this as a stepping stone in the right way,” added Knox.
The program is offered by Jefferson Community and Technical College’s adult education program, coordinated by Donna Miller Bruenger and Chad Hutchison.