The Adult Learning Center in Lebanon recently congratulated Taylor and Tyler Wilson on receiving their GED diplomas.
The twins, as they are affectionately referred to by the ALC staff, gained immediate attention when they chose to attend night classes rather than go out to celebrate their 19th birthday. Their efforts were rewarded when soon after, they celebrated receiving their high school equivalency diplomas.
Born in Alabama, the twins experienced personal disruptions and upheaval in their lives that ultimately dictated a change of schools. The new county school was considerably smaller, and the classes the boys needed were only available on computers.
“Sitting in front of a computer six hours a day is not appealing,” said Tyler Wilson.
Once they had quit school, the twins said no one in their family expected them to earn a diploma.
“You can overcome anything,” Tyler Wilson said.
With no prospects in Alabama, the twins relocated to Tennessee to live with their older brother. Moving in with their sibling was not successful, and they soon found themselves struggling to find a home. Without money for deposit and rent, they were basically homeless.
They discovered the Adult Learning Center by accident while driving down Greenwood Street in Lebanon. Tyler Wilson then told his brother they were going to attend GED classes; he had signed them up.
“In the modern world, you need some type of diploma to get a job regardless of your age,” Tyler Wilson said.
The brothers said they experienced immediate success at the center, which gave them a feeling that they were in the right place.
“When you walk in the door, you feel at home,” Tyler Wilson said. “The ALC provides a great environment to help further your learning and improve your life.”
As one might imagine, Tyler Wilson, who is two minutes older, does most of the talking.
Assistance from YouthLinks – a supportive program for young people who qualify – was requested). YouthLink’s caseworker, Melanie Powell, became involved with the twin’s progress and continues to play a role in their success. Both are employed, have transportation and are making plans to continue their education.
“The GED can get you a lot of great opportunities in the community,” said Tyler Wilson. “YouthLinks opened up lots of doors for us.”
Sandy Anderson, ALC coordinator, said it was a pleasure working with both young men.
“From the moment Taylor and Tyler arrived at our school, their charismatic personalities and optimistic attitudes made a positive impact on our classes and staff,” Anderson said. “I knew that each would be successful, and I am honored to be a part of their journey to success.”
Free classes are conducted in Lebanon, Watertown, Old Hickory, Mt. Juliet, Carthage and Hartsville. Any adult interested in getting a GED/high school equivalency diploma should contact the ALC at 615-443-8731. Day and night classes are available at most locations.