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Women Lose Jobs, Go Back to School, Earn Diploma

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

There were several GED recipients who stood out at today's ceremony at Wallace Community College.

The four "golden girls" of this year's graduation class are Sue Ritter, Judith Newman, Louise Mayo, and Yvonne Whitehead.

They worked for WestPoint Home in Abbeville for a combined 115 years.

But after the plant shut down last year, they decided to take action.

“Definitely difficult for somebody that’s been out of school for 42 years and almost 60 years old; it was a difficult challenge,” said Ritter.

“Just being 62 years old and starting all over again,” added Newman.

“We lost our job we just decided we needed to go back and get our high school diploma,” said Mayo.

“At our age we were pretty well set thinking our jobs were secure forever until we got ready to leave but unfortunately that did not happen,” said Newman.

With the help of family, friends, and teachers, the women accomplished their goal in a little over a year.

“They said you can do it we know you can and I did and I’m proud I did,” said Ritter.

“Everybody was nice we had some nice teachers but it was hard because we’re a little older and our minds don't work like they used to,”

The women believe losing their jobs, was a blessing in disguise.

“Nut it's a great thing that happened change is really good for everyone this gave us the opportunity to do something we probably would not have done,” said Newman.

The golden girls of this year's graduation class aren't sure what they'll do next but say they plan to take on each challenge, one at a time.

“We're really proud of each other that we can accomplish this,” said Newman.

The four women aren't sure what they'll do with their new diploma.

They say they'll weigh their options before deciding to get back into the workforce or pursuing a college degree.


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