Eric R. Barden of Bohannon, received a GED diploma on May 17 at a ceremony arranged by Adult Literacy on the Middle Peninsula, Inc., the group which tutored and prepared him for the exam. The ceremony was held during an ALMP board meeting at the Mathews Active Lifestyle Center.
Rhoda-Jo Stress, director of the group, said Barden left school at 17 and entered the construction field. After nine years, in 2008, he returned to the classroom to work toward his GED, but left again.
He returned early this year and completed his work, Stress said, adding that "his strong reading skills made reading, science and social studies subjects that he easily mastered." The exam results indicated he ranked equivalent to the top 33 percent of traditional high school graduates, Stress said. He is continuing his education at the college level, she added.
In other news, ALMP recently honored Amanda Wallace of Gloucester County Department of Community Education as a "Friend of Adult Literacy," and recognized a community group, the "Gloucester 40," for volunteerism at its recent Volunteer Recognition Reception.
"Amanda is everyone’s go-to person for how things need to be done as well as when," Stress said. "She continually provides outstanding customer service and creativity; she makes all who come in contact with her better for the association."
Founded in 2009, ALMP realizes its organization is dependent upon the cooperation and support from community businesses to be successful in attaining its mission, said Stress.
ALMP recognized the Gloucester 40, a group that organized unsuccessful petitions to remove four county supervisors from office, but then prevailed in Virginia’s Supreme Court against sanctions issued by a circuit court judge, as Presidential Volunteer Service Award recipients at the Gold Level. To attain the Gold Level recognition, the Gloucester 40 (as a group) had to give at least 1,000 hours service.
Stress said the President’s Award is a national honor recognizing sustained volunteer service, issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, a group created by President George W. Bush.