Let me share some numbers with you:
39 million: Number of American adults without a high school diploma.
$50-$150: Cost to take a pen-and-paper version of the GED exam.
$140: Cost to take the entire GED test battery on the computer.
$5-$25: Cost to re-take a portion of the GED exam.
63: Percent of jobs that will require at least some college experience by 2018.
98: Percent of colleges that accept the GED credential in replacement of their requirement for a high school diploma.
96: Estimated percent of companies that accept applicants with the GED credential for positions requiring a high school diploma.
82: Percent of TEEM students who successfully pass the GED exam after receiving our instruction.
These numbers are equal parts sobering and exciting to me. Sobering because so many individuals lack access to the resources necessary to pass the GED exam, and thus, remain trapped in their circumstances, without the credentials needed to pursue better job opportunities or secondary education. But, exciting because TEEM is helping break this cycle by offering comprehensive, individualized GED preparation free of charge to our students. Often, obtaining a GED is the first step in breaking free of long-existing binds of poverty, enabling individuals to attend college, qualify for better jobs and set a positive example for family members. The numbers speak for themselves, but hearing from our students is the best testament to what a GED means. Here are some highlights:
"Being able to go to a college and make something of myself is why I'm fighting to get my GED. A GED means never having to live paycheck-to-paycheck or worrying how I'm going to eat or where I'm going to live. This is just the start to a new world and a new outcome." -Shartel, age 26
"I'm getting my GED to show my kids the way to life. That is, no matter what happens to you, pray and stay focused. But, most of all, never give up. I'm showing my kids and the world that not giving up is another way of succeeding." -Shwonda, age 31
"At my age, I have to work hard to make a good living for myself. Now, with a GED, I'll be able to work smarter, not harder." -Curtis, age 50
"This diploma is important because only five people in my family have one. That's not many at all considering the size of my family. My grandma and my mom would have been so proud of me. That is an awesome feeling." - Freedom, age 23