Thomasville Times Enterprise

January 16, 2013

SWGTC names Graham EAGLE winner

Staff report

THOMASVILLE — Southwest Georgia Technical College (SWGTC) recently named Tawana Graham its 2013 EAGLE Delegate. The EAGLE award, which stands for Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literary Education, was created to celebrate adult learners in pursuit of excellence.

EAGLE winners are nominated by their instructors based on criteria such as student character, attitude, and community involvement.  The student must also demonstrate exceptional perseverance, a positive attitude, superb classroom attendance and excellent leadership skills while earning their GED® diploma.

When Graham first came to SWGTC, she didn’t even know she needed a GED®. She came to enroll in nursing courses, even started classes and made it through her first semester, when she was informed that her diploma was not valid. Graham, like many others, made the mistake of completing her high school diploma online, with a school that was not accredited, deeming her diploma invalid. That meant she would need a GED® to continue classes.

Mary Lou Vonier, Adult Education/GED instructor, nominated Graham for the EAGLE award. In her nomination she wrote, “Upon notification that her diploma was invalid, Tawana immediately enrolled in adult education and has been hard-working, responsible, focused, persistent and successful.  She has been a role model for other students, and I frequently observe her encouraging and assisting other students. Tawana clearly sees the value of returning to school to get a GED and will represent the adult education program well.”

Graham said that while trying to get her GED there were many times she felt like she couldn’t do it. Or that she just wanted to give up. But in the end, it was the motivation of her teachers and her dream of becoming a nurse that kept her going.

Graham just took her last portion of her GED and is awaiting her results for the reading/writing portion. She has had successful scores on all other portions.

Each college, of the 25 colleges in the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), has selected an EAGLE Delegate to represent their institution. These delegates will compete on a regional level, and those regional winners will go on to compete for the state level. At the EAGLE Leadership Institute, held in Atlanta from March 18-21, delegates will reconvene and the regional winners will compete for the title of EAGLE Delegate of the Year title. The Institute also offers professional development sessions centered on leadership, communication and life-management skills. 

Southwest Georgia Technical College is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.