After years of wanting better for himself, Brandon Baker, of Portsmouth, proudly earned his GED on Oct. 22 from the Scioto County Aspire Program, at the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center, in New Boston.
Baker left high school during his sophomore year, struggling with the death of his father. He tried several options to complete his education throughout the years and even enrolled in the Scioto County Aspire GED program, but was never able to complete any of them.
“I just didn’t care to improve my life. I just stopped trying and went back to playing video games all day,” Baker said.
In August of 2019, Baker enrolled again to the Scioto County Aspire GED program. This time he had made up his mind, he said. Instructor Paula Baumgardner said he completed the course work in 40 hours.
“I wanted to make my mom proud, and now I have two nephews I wanted to be able to look up to me,” he said.
Surrounded by his family in the Aspire classroom, mom hugged tightly as Brandon held up his certificate during his graduation ceremony on Oct. 22. Looking forward, Baker said he was thinking about pursuing his college degree in game design.
Baumgarder said the Scioto County Aspire GED and Adult Diploma program are both available for free. Flexible classes are held at the South Central Ohio ESC, in New Boston, but also at locations throughout the county and even online. The only fee is for taking the test, and she said the Aspire program can provide financial assistance.
“Many of the students who come through the Aspire program look back and say, ‘I did it, and you can too!’” Baumgardner said.
For more information about Scioto County Aspire or the South Central Ohio ESC, visit online at www.scoesc.org, or follow on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Or call Baumgardner to setup a consultation at 740-354-0219.