Our Students Succeed!

Chris Brown

A photo of GED graduate Chris Brown.

A few years ago, I made some choices that landed me in trouble with the law and resulted in criminal charges. At that time, I thought I’d never be able to overcome such an obstacle, but it turned into a lifelong lesson. I learned that I am accountable for my own individual choices, even if I was just doing what everyone else was.

Part of that learning process definitely happened through the Adult Ed program at Cloud County Community College. The staff there was, and continues to be, supportive of my success. In 2020, they recommended that I join Cloud’s WIOA Youth Services program to figure out what I could do next, considering I now have a record. They set up a meeting with a man named Thomas in Clay Center about me working for his company to see if I’d like the work. Thomas was kind enough to give me a chance and allow my paid internship to take place at his facility. 

After checking it out, I decided that welding was definitely the job for me! After improving my math skills with the Adult Ed Program I began taking my gen ed classes at Cloud, which then transferred to a welding program at MATC. I officially completed the welding program on May 14, 2022. On May 16th I got hired by Thomas after a good weld test. There are no words to thank these people who helped me change the course of my life!

A photo of GED graduate Sienna Newsom.

Sienna Newsom

High School isn't for everyone, I had a hard time in school; I developed a critical anxiety and depression disorder that wouldn't let me leave my house for a long period of time. I lost hope of my future. But with the GED program I was able to stay in a small classroom where I also had the option to go online and study. It was the greatest decision I ever made.

It was super important for me to finish because it meant proving something to not only myself but to others. I got made fun of in school, and I even got told by some teachers I could never make it. After I left high school there were so many people thinking all I was was a drop out. So I fought hard for my diploma and I succeeded and it has been the best feeling in my life, not only did I complete my diploma I even did it BEFORE my class graduated. 

I've had a lot of family issues that have traumatized me and made it really hard for me to focus in school, along with fighting my anxiety and depression. It has been, to say the least, not easy. But if you have a passion to work hard and get to your goals you can absolutely get your GED/diploma. I couldn't have done it without Debbie and Gary, my wonderful teachers and of course my parents, Donna and Everett Mendenhall and loving boyfriend, Edwin Gonzales. I want to be an inspiration that other people can achieve their diploma too. Just because your story is different doesn't mean it's over. Keep fighting and prove them wrong. 

Blanca Pruitt, GED success storyBlanca Pruitt is a native of Honduras. After obtaining her GED through Cloud County Community College, Blanca continued her education at CCCC where she played soccer and tutored seven subjects in the Learning Skills Center for two years. After receiving her Associates of Science Degree, Blanca transferred to Kansas State University where she worked on a dual major in Science and English Secondary Education with a minor in Spanish. Blanca’s achievements & activities at KSU included the McNair Scholars Program, the KSU Rugby team, NSE Students International Abroad, KNEA, and the Navigators Christian Club. Based on her 4.0 GPA, Blanca received a full scholarship to play soccer and continue her education at the University of Hawaii.







AE success, GCC gradSynora (Nora) Joseph, an Alaskan native, exemplified determination as she overcame the obstacles of being the youngest child in a large family raised by a single mother. Despite hard times and many challenges, including dropping out of school, Nora learned to work hard and stay focused on what she wanted. Even though she was successful in the retail world, Nora wanted to be able to fill out a job application and honestly identify herself as a high school graduate.
     While her husband was stationed in Germany, Nora decided it was time to get that diploma. She bought a book and diligently studied. After taking the test, she passed four of the sections with flying colors, but failed to pass the math section. She persisted and kept trying to teach herself with all the G.E.D. preparation books she could find. However, with each test math continued to be a roadblock to her success.
      In 2007, Nora’s husband was transferred to Fort Riley, and Nora enrolled in the Cloud County Community College AE Program at the Geary County Campus in Junction City. During her two years in the CCCC AE Program, Nora became an inspiration to all students through her motivation, diligence, and determination. She would often be heard saying things like, “If I can do this at 40, you can definitely do this at 18.”
     Even with her hard work, fortitude, and high OPT scores, Nora just could not pass the GED math test. Eventually it was discovered that Nora had math testing anxiety. Finally, with accommodations, Nora passed the entire GED. Over a span of six years, countless hours of studying, endless support, unwavering determination, and eight GED exams, Nora achieved her goal. However, Nora did not stop with her high school diploma; she went on to complete the coursework at the American Academy of Cosmetology. Nora’s future plans include getting an associate’s degree in business and opening her own salon.

Cheryl, GED success storyCheryl Lomangino, exemplified determination as she overcame the obstacles of being the youngest child in a large family raised by a single mother. Cheryl suffered many hard times and challenges including dropping out of school, being a single mother of five children, and being addicted to drugs. Cheryl credits her second husband’s encouragement and support for helping her start a better life.

     Cheryl began attending the Adult Basic Education Program at Cloud County Community College’s Geary County Campus to work toward earning a State of Kansas High School Diploma. After six months and 170 hours, Cheryl achieved this goal. However, while working with Stacy Brown, Coordinator and Instructor, Cheryl became inspired to reach higher when setting future goals. Cheryl was interested in Nursing, but never imagined that it could become a reality for her until Stacy assisted her with becoming part of a new CCCC ABE program.

     The ABE program at Cloud County Community College was awarded the Kansas Health Professionals Opportunity Project grant in May, 2011. This funding provided the opportunity for ABE students to enroll in a CNA program while working toward obtaining their GED®. KHPOP program participants were provided with tuition, books and materials, as well as uniforms. Some students, such as Cheryl, were also given assistance with child care and transportation to and from classes.

     After obtaining her Kansas CNA certification, Cheryl began full-time employment as a CNA. She also became a Pre-Nursing student at the Geary County Campus and was elected President of the Gary County Campus student body.

     During her public speaking class, Cheryl presented Stacy with a Certificate of Appreciation, saying, “I am truly grateful for the opportunity that was given me. Your unwavering encouragement and inspiration never allowed me to quit! I hope to give back and help others the way you helped me.”