Saturday, June 16, 2012

Melissa Ingram earned GED despite difficulties

 Melissa Ingram
“It wasn’t easy. It was hard,” says Melissa Ingram of Geneva, about earning her general equivalency diploma, or GED.

She was one of 76 graduates who received their GED through Finger Lakes Community College during the 2011-12 academic year. Ingram was a student speaker at the June 10 GED graduation ceremony at the main campus.
Ingram attended high school in Rochester. Due to an unstable environment, she had to move frequently, which made it difficult for her to attend school and keep up with the work. Eventually she left school.
Months later Ingram moved to Geneva to live with her boyfriend. She no longer had to worry whether she’d end up living in a shelter. Her life was finally stable, so she began to look at the future. “I felt bad I didn’t finish high school,” says Ingram. “I realized I couldn’t get anywhere in life without a high school diploma or a GED.”
Ingram enrolled in the Finger Lakes Community College adult basic education program. “I had to learn things all over again,” she says. “I was always doing homework, and it made a difference. It helped me get my GED faster.”
While preparing for the GED exam, Ingram started working nights at McDonald’s. “I’d get out of work at 5 a.m. and have to be in class at 9 a.m., but I kept going to classes,” she says.
Eleven months after starting the FLCC program, Ingram took the GED exam. “I didn’t think I’d pass. I’m so happy I did. I’ve wanted to go to cosmetology school for a while, but I needed a GED. I’d like to work in a salon and maybe have my own salon someday,” she says.
For information about the FLCC GED classes, visit

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