East Texas man fulfills his dream at GED graduation - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texas man fulfills his dream at GED graduation

TYLER, TX (KLTV) – More than seventy East Texans who never got their high-school diploma got the chance to fix that Thursday night.

The Literacy Council of Tyler held their GED graduation ceremony Thursday, and one of the graduates went back to school not only to fulfill his dream, but also to fulfill his late father's.

Kevin Chapman was a high-school sophomore in the early 80s, when he got married and became a father. He says it just didn't feel right to stay in his parent's house, even though it disappointed his dad.

"I was his last hope out of three siblings to attend college. He'd always try to get me to go back," says Chapman.

Chapman eventually moved to Houston and began a career as a courier. He'd been there for twenty years when he was let go at age 46 without many options left.

"The days of getting work without the education, I think, are gone. They used to consider experience in lieu of education, and I find that's not the case anymore," explains Chapman.

Chapman enrolled in the GED program, and was surprised to find that his study habits were a lot better than they were in high school. But like many of his fellow graduates, math was even tougher than it used to be.

Rick Swain, one of Kevin's GED instructors, says that while the number sense took a little while to come back, after a twenty-year career, Chapman knew how to work.

Chapman says his only regret was that his father wasn't here to see him walk across the stage. His mother was, and she says she knows, somewhere, that his dad is smiling.

Thursday's graduation ceremony also included a father and son and a mother and daughter graduation together. Congratulations to all the graduates.

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