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Mother, daughter obtain GEDs together
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Melissa and Courtney Blackwell

A mother and daughter have gotten the chance to experience something special togetherobtaining a GED.

Courtney Blackwell and her mother, Melissa Blackwell, are two graduates who will receive their GED at a graduation ceremony Friday, Aug. 30. The two havebeen attending classes at Dawson Countys Adult Education Learning Center.

Courtney, 16, motivated her mother to join her in the classroom.

I was gonna do it by myself ... then she (my mom) decided she wanted to do it, too, Courtney said.

Courtney said she attended public school and also did home-schooling for a while. But now she is looking forward to getting a jump-start on furthering her education. Im thinking about being a physical therapist assistant and working with special-needs kids, Courtney said. She hopes to attend Lanier Tech in January to further her education.

Melissa said she isnt sure how shell further her education, but shes proud of what she and her daughter have done. Its a big accomplishment, she said. Her friends tell her she should pursue a nursing degree. Im thinking about it, Melissa said.

Courtney agrees. Practically no one in our family has graduated, so it felt like a big accomplishment, she said.

The Blackwells commended the teachers at the learning center for their success.

The teachers were awesome. Im going to miss them. ... Its really an awesome program, Melissa said.

The mother and daughter duo agreed that math was a tough subject and that writing and languagearts were their favorites.

Attending school together allowed them to help each other with homework assignments.

In between classes and studying, Courtney works at Five Guys in Dawsonville. The family also attends Walk of Life church in Dawsonville near War Hill Park, where Melissas husband, Keith, is the pastor.

Courtney, a self-taught musician, plays piano and drums along with her three sisters. I taught myself how to play; I didnt take any lessons. Courtney said she would stay in her room for hours teaching herself how to play.

Melissa said getting her GED was a good experience. I encourage anybody it to do it. Especially in Dawsonville. ... Dawsonville is just awesome, she said. The teachers are just so sweet and helpful.

Melissa and Courtney, along with graduates from Banks, Barrow, Dawson, Forsyth, Hall, Jackson and Lumpkin, will be honored at a ceremony at 7 p.m. Aug. 30 at Free Chapel Worship Center in Gainesville.