Austin Bray

Austin

At 23, Austin Bray has achieved one of his greatest goals - passing his HSE (High School Equivalency – formerly GED).  Bray attended classes at the Kokomo Area Career Center which is local to where he resides.  While attending classes, Bray also worked 35 hours a week. He says it was exhausting to do both.  But his hard work paid off. He began classes in the end of July 2021 and graduated in November of 2021.  He passed all five tests the first time he took them, which is a rare feat!

In high school, Bray says he didn’t try and didn’t hold himself responsible for his future. That’s why he did not graduate by traditional means.  However, he wanted to be proud of himself and to make his family proud, so he enrolled at the KACC.  When asked what the benefits were of KACC’s program, Bray stated, “The teachers.  They are incredible and truly work with you.  As long as you want it, they will do what they can to help.”   

KACC’s Adult Education Program is both versatile and flexible.  Bray claimed that the program “works around your schedule and that the teachers are very understanding.”  One of Bray’s most difficult subjects for which to prepare was math, but he argues that the J-Math videos provided by the program worked well for his learning style.  “He (the J-Math instructor) is very good at breaking everything down, even the harder algebra.”  As for advice to others, Bray encourages students to “keep going, stay focused, and don’t quit on yourself.  Nobody will do it for you.”  

His experience wasn’t without tragedy.  Half-way through his work in the program, Bray’s grandfather unexpectedly passed away.  He was ready to stop trying; he did stop attending regularly and fell behind.  He came to the KACC and spoke to Janet, a teacher for the Adult Education Program.  Janet compassionately understood his situation and offered him grace.  She demonstrated how it wasn’t too late to finish and told him how much she wanted to see him graduate.  Bray commented, “I needed that.” 

Bray has set a new goal now that he has obtained his HSE – the military.  “The Adult Education Program has helped take me to the next level.  I plan to serve our country in the military—serving in the U.S. Army.  I will take pride in the fact that I chose to complete my education.”  

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