68-Year-Old Earns GED, Pursuing Nursing Career | News
Forget the rocking chair. Work in the garden or on the golf swing can wait.
That's what one Macon woman decided when she reached retirement.
68-year-old Carmel McIntyre set all that aside and went back to school.
Her first essay from GED classes at Central Georgia Technical College was a special one for McIntyre. Not only because she earned a perfect score, but also because it was the first school paper she's written since the age of 15.
McIntyre said, "I grew up in a town in Northern Rhodesia."
The African nation is now called Zambia.
When she was in the equivalent of 8th grade, political unrest forced McIntyre's family to South Africa. She said, "I had to go find a job, because we had to survive."
She took minimum wage jobs there and when she moved to the U.S.
McIntyre said, "Data entry, filing clerk, I was even cleaning houses."
Better jobs required a GED, which she never found time to earn, until retirement. She contacted the Adult Education program at Central Georgia Technical College.
McIntyre said, "I was on the brink of saying, 'Oh no, they're going to say you're too old, you know, it's not for you'."
However, Sallie Devero, assistant vice president, for the program, answered McIntyre's call with this message.
Devero said, "There are people out there willing to help folks who show a willingness to help themselves."
McIntyre enrolled in the free GED courses in April 2012, undeterred by her younger classmates.
She said, "When you're over 60 you think who cares? I've got one opportunity, and I'm going to take it with both hands."
She embraced a diploma in May.
Next week, she will be honored at an Atlanta ceremony as the oldest GED recipient in Georgia for 2013.
She's proud, but not finished. She's now enrolled as a nursing student.
McIntyre said, "Even if I am old as Moses, I am going to do it. I am going to try, and I am going to get there, with God's help."
Sallie Devero says GED classes for people of any age are free. They offer financial aid to take the test, which is $160.
After earning a GED, college tuition at an University System of Georgia school for people 62 and older is free.