News Archive

A Starting Point

By JUSTIN STORY The Daily News jstory@bgdailynews.com

graduates capsTyler Oaks has about another year before he regains his freedom, but the current Warren County Regional Jail inmate has a reason to celebrate now.

Oaks and 14 other inmates were honored Tuesday in a graduation ceremony for earning their GED diplomas.

It was tough, but it was something I wanted to do to better my life, said Oaks, of Morgantown.

After he is released, Oaks wants to further his education so that he can find a job less strenuous than the construction work he had been doing prior to landing in jail.

That attitude would please Warren County Jailer Jackie Strode, who told the GED graduates that earning this diploma should represent a first step toward further education and improvement.

It s something that you worked hard for and you studied for, but let s let that be a starting point, Strode said.

Warren County Jailer speaking to GED graduates
Warren County Jailer Jackie Strode speaks to
graduates after they received their GED from
Bowling Green Technical College during a
ceremony at the Warren County Regional Jail
Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, in Bowling Green, Ky.
(Photo by Alex Slitz/Daily News)

Ten inmates took part in Tuesday s ceremony the other five graduates have either been released or transferred to other facilities.

Bowling Green Technical College operates the GED program for inmates. Classes are taught by GED instructor Lyndell Graven, who teaches three days a week at the jail.

Classes are held year-round in math, reading, writing, science and social studies. Inmates have homework assignments on days when they are not in class.

Because inmates come and go and are at different stages of the program when Graven encounters them, the classes at the jail are structured differently than the classes on BGTC s campus, allowing for more individualized instruction, Graven said.

To earn a GED certificate, a student has to pass a comprehensive test in each subject. Students can score up to 800 points per subject, and a score of 410 is considered a passing grade, although a cumulative average

of 450 is required to pass the test.

Gerald Napoles, vice president of student affairs at BGTC, congratulated the graduates on their achievement and exhorted them to take control of their futures, whether it be through continuing education or finding employment after release.

Napoles talked about earning multiple college degrees despite growing up poor in Texas and seeing relatives and friends fall short of their goals due to a lack of education, ultimately telling the graduates that it is not too late to build on the success of a GED.

A lot of people in the world will knock you down, but what you have done is a great accomplishment, Napoles said. When you step out of here, there will be so many challenges, but there will be so many more opportunities

femal graduate in cap and gown Male graduate in cap and gown
Stevondre Brown, an inmate at the Warren
County Regional Jail (center) walks up to get
his GED, during a graduation ceremony at the
jail, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, in Bowling Green, Ky.
(Photo by Alex Slitz/Daily News)

Tyler Oaks, an inmate at the Warren County
Regional Jail (center) smiles after receiving his
GED from Bowling Green Technical College,
during a graduation ceremony at the jail,
Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, in Bowling Green, Ky.
(Photo by Alex Slitz/Daily News)