MOULTRIE, Ga. — A Moultrie woman will represent Southern Regional Technical College in a statewide literacy education program.
Violeta Ramirez of Moultrie was recently named SRTC’s 2022 Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education (EAGLE) delegate.
The EAGLE Program celebrates adult learners in pursuit of excellence, the college said in a press release. In May of 2021, the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia honored the memory of Dinah Culbreath Wayne for her faithful service on the Technical College System State Board by renaming the Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education (EAGLE) Award the Dinah Culbreath Wayne EAGLE Award. This statewide program recognizes and honors students who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in adult education classes across the state of Georgia. Adult Education instructors in public, private, and grantee agencies nominate students at the local program level to participate in the EAGLE recognition program at the state level. Selection criteria include student character, attitude, attendance, leadership and community involvement and activities.
Earlier this year, Ramirez challenged herself to achieve a long-held ambition: earning her GED. She took advantage of the free Adult Education courses at SRTC-Moultrie, and within just a few months’ time, she successfully passed all portions of the GED.
“To understand why obtaining my GED was so important to me is to understand my background,” Ramirez said. “When I was five years old, my parents decided to move our family from Guatemala to America in search of a better life. They wanted the American Dream, and they wanted a better life for their children. It was very important to my parents that all of their children get an education in America, graduate from high school, and live a successful life. The American Dream. I wanted that too.
“Unfortunately, that was not going to be my path,” she said. “I got pregnant in my senior year of high school so I stopped my education in order to take care of my daughter. I had to start working to provide for my daughter’s needs. My education and the goal of obtaining a diploma slowly started slipping away from me.
“When I mention that I went to work, I should add that I went to work doing hard manual labor, which was nothing new because my parents introduced me to hard work as a child. I was used to working in the fields. At a very young age, my parents had us picking blueberries alongside them. I can remember that I would help carry the baskets that were full of blueberries. I also remember how hot and humid it was in that South Georgia heat. I can remember my father saying to us when we complained about the work and the heat, ‘This is where you are going to be if you don’t finish high school and graduate!’
“My parents had always wanted the very best for all of their children just like every other parent in the world. My parents sacrificed everything to build a better way for us in America. You can imagine how disappointed I was in myself that I could not achieve this goal for them or for me. After my daughters reached a certain age, I decided it was time for me to start working towards my dream of having a diploma and continuing my education.
“So, I did it. I really did it! Now I can proudly say to my parents, to my husband, and to my daughters that I have earned my GED! No one and nothing can stop me now! I am an American Dreamer! I am so excited about my future.”
After earning her GED, Ramirez plans to continue her education at Southern Regional Technical College, where she will pursue an education in the medical field. She said that her daughter’s lengthy hospital stay inspired her to help other people just as she saw the healthcare professionals all around her doing.
“I realized that want to do that,” she said. “I want to help people. And while that goal will not be achieved overnight, it will be achieved.”
Each EAGLE delegate is considered an ambassador and spokesperson for literacy, serving local communities and the state by promoting lifelong learning, SRTC said. In the spring of 2022, Ramirez will represent SRTC’s Adult Education program at the state EAGLE Leadership Institute in Atlanta.
SRTC designed the Adult Education program for individuals who need assistance with basic academic skills. Flexible programs with non-traditional classroom hours are offered so that the program can meet the needs of almost anyone’s schedule. Program services include instruction in basic skills, literacy, GED preparation and testing, and the English Language Acquisition program. The services are free and available at various locations in Colquitt, Decatur, Early, Grady, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Thomas, Tift, Turner, and Worth counties.
For more information, visit SRTC’s Adult Education program online: https://southernregional.edu/adult-education-ged.