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GED® completers recognized at June 15 ceremony

Danny Brotton

Danny Brotton will be one of six student speakers when Rogue Community College holds its annual GED® completion ceremony June 15.

The celebration begins at 11 a.m. in the Marjorie Holzgang Concert Bowl on the RCC Redwood Campus, 3345 Redwood Hwy., Grants Pass. Last year, 187 students participated in the event, and similar number is expected to walk this year.

Brotton, who passed the five-part GED® test with flying colors, is looking forward to continuing his college education. But way back in his teenage years, Brotton recalls, he couldn’t see much reason to focus on school.

“I thought I knew everything and didn’t need a piece of paper telling me I did,” said Brotton, now 41. “I didn’t want to listen any more.” So Brotton, who grew up on the Oregon Coast, dropped out of high school at 16.

Jobs were easy to find; he worked at the Port Orford dock cannery and for auto parts stores in Ohio and Las Vegas for about 15 years.

“I kept telling myself that one of these days I’ll take the time to sit down and get my diploma, but that never happened, and I found all kind of excuses for not doing it,” he explained. “I always had a job and never had a problem finding one, and I didn’t believe I needed a diploma to further my career.”

Eventually, however, Brotton began to encounter health problems and decided it was time for a change. He left his job and moved to Medford.

“I figured I might as well get my GED®,” he said. “I did some soul searching and came to the conclusion that I could do this and realized I wanted to.”

Brotton acknowledges being a “little scared” when he started studying for the GED® last summer. But supportive, skillful, and encouraging instructors helped him “learn to not be afraid of writing or public speaking and to always think positively,” he said.

He passed all five GED® exams — math reading, science, social studies, and writing — on his first try. Now Brotton’s plan includes taking pre-requisite classes at RCC and deciding on a career. He’d like to find a profession where he could help encourage children to stay in school.

“Coming to RCC showed me than I could do it at my own pace and it’s not scary,” he said. “And there’s always someone who’s willing to help,” he continued. I gained a new respect for the value of an education and will take that with me as I further my education.”

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