Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) has selected Habtamu Wilson as its adult education Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education (EAGLE) award winner. This honor recognizes one outstanding student in the college’s adult education program, which is the largest in Georgia. Adult Education Instructor Margaret Robling nominated Wilson; he was tapped for this honor based on a speech he delivered to the selection committee.
Wilson will go on to represent the school at the Technical College System of Georgia’s EAGLE Leadership Institute, which will be held in Atlanta from March 13-15. The EAGLE Leadership Institute recognizes those students who have demonstrated superior achievement in adult education classes and programs.
“Habtamu enrolled in the Adult Ed program here at Georgia Piedmont in June 2015, with the goal of completing a GED,” said Dr. Jabari Simama, president of GPTC. “His journey from Ethiopia to Georgia is an inspiration to all of us at Georgia Piedmont,” Dr. Simama concluded.
Wilson came to the United States from Ethiopia as a child in 2002. He suffers from glaucoma vision loss, so he moved to the U.S. with hopes of having his vision surgically corrected. Wilson was placed in a series of foster homes upon his arrival in the United States. He was subsequently adopted by one of his foster parents, who enrolled him in the Georgia Academy for the Blind. Unfortunately, Wilson was not able to finish his studies at that school because he aged out of the curriculum.
“I have experienced the joy of reading and writing stories because of the Adult Education program,” Wilson said. “My journey from a small village in Ethiopia to a pathway of success in the United States continues, but I know I am on the right track thanks to the Adult Education program,” Wilson stated. “After I get my GED, I plan to pursue a career in IT with the hope of someday helping blind and visually impaired individuals use screen-reading software,” he said.
EAGLE is the first statewide program in the nation that recognizes and rewards excellence among students enrolled in adult education programs. The EAGLE program is designed to create greater awareness of educational opportunities that are available throughout local communities and to foster involvement in lifelong learning.