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A man wearing a graduation cap and gown stands facing the camera. He is wearing a medal on a black and gold ribbon around his neck and is holding a green piece of paper in his hand.

Willie Kanard, 38, graduated with his GED on May 13, 2022. After entering the workforce as a teenager, he returned to school to prepare for and pass his GED after a 20-year education gap. 

“I went back to school after 20 years. I had kids at a young age, so I started working. Work kind of took over school.

“I became a manager at 17, so I’ve been running companies for 20 years. But I still had a desire to have my GED. My grandmother wanted me to have it, and I wanted to have it for myself.

“One day I made a phone call, and it started from there. They told me to come in. I did a placement test. Took a few classes for a couple of months. From start to finish, I did it in 59 days.

“I work for Swanson Distribution. I work on the dock. I still want to go to the next level. I’m not content where I am, and in order to get to the next level, it takes education. This is just a stepping stone to more that I want out of life.”