Quitting school was a choice that Loretta Young made at the age of 16. She wanted a family, and she stopped going to school in ninth grade. Her family is everything to her, but she realizes that life may have been easier if she had not quit school.
At 16, Young began working at McDonald’s. At 18, she was the mother of twins. At 21, she attempted to go back to school, but it was not the right time for her. She could not commit to classes and be the kind of mom she wanted to be because of the demands of having 3-year-old twins. At 26, Young had her last child.
Fast forward to 2017, Young has two grown children and a freshman in high school.
“My kids were grown, and I wanted to better myself,” she said.
She first started attending an adult education program in another county whose program offered class only two days per week. She said she felt as if she needed more time, and her husband suggested calling the Wilson County Adult Learning Center.
She entered that program and would drive about 50 miles round-trip to attend class daily. Online class was an option for studying, but not all course study was online.
Gina Ferrell was Young’s teacher at the ALC, and she remembers Young as being a cheerleader for other students.
“Some students come across an obstacle, and they stop. Loretta is not that person. No matter what obstacle got in her way, she would figure out a way to overcome and keep going. It was a challenge, and she did not back down. She had the right frame of mind and a great attitude,” Ferrell said.
Young will be wearing a cap and gown on May 31 at the commencement for the ALC, walking across the stage at Fairview Church in Lebanon to receive her high school equivalency diploma. Her advice to anyone who needs a diploma is to not give up.
“It is stressful; just do not let the stress take over,” Young said.