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GED completer Tim Reynolds Jr. sets his sights on transfer degree

Tim Reynolds Jr.Students pursuing their GEDs at Rogue Community College are determined to keep their eyes on the prize, says Tim Reynolds, Jr.

“It’s not a game here. People are very focused on bettering themselves,” Reynolds explained.

He will be a student speaker at the GED graduation ceremony, 11 a.m. June 16 on the Redwood Campus, 3345 Redwood Hwy., Grants Pass. The ceremony recognizes students from Jackson and Josephine counties who have earned their GEDs through the RCC Testing Centers; many studied in preparation at the RCC learning centers.

In addition to publically thanking his family for their support and encouragement, Reynolds also will thank Adult Basic Skills faculty and staff for “being kind and open and not afraid to say what’s on their minds. Without them I don’t think I would have been able to do this,” he said.

Reynolds, 30, began attending RCC when he lost his job and was unable to find another. “I realized that without an education my chances of getting a new job were slim to none,” he recalled. Reynolds, who had made it to twelfth grade at Grants Pass High School before dropping out, was working as a certified nursing assistant and earning decent money.

“Plus school wasn’t fun for me,” he recalled, “and coming from a family of workers, like I did, that’s what you do—work.”
He pursued that field for almost seven years and then began working for an ecofriendly housecleaning service in Ashland. When the economy crashed, the firm cut back on workers. After, an unsuccessful job search, Reynolds came to RCC winter term to prepare for the exams.

“It’s not a high school mentality here,” he noted. “The structure made it very enjoyable; you go at your own pace and students are supportive of each other.”

Reynolds passed all five exams with flying colors. His successes have helped him build confidence in his academic abilities: he’s taken placement tests for RCC credit classes and plans to pursue a transfer degree with a focus on marine biology.

“All of the GED instructors are topnotch and tutors are always available to help you,” he said. “They infuse in you the belief that ‘you can do this.’”

Have a story idea for the website? Please E-mail Rand Hill

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