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GPTC student named state EAGLE winner
(Left to right) TCSG Commissioner Gretchen Corbin, 2015 Eagle Award Winner Justin Walters, GPTC President Jabari Simama

Georgia Piedmont Technical College student Justin Walters was selected by the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) as the statewide 2015 EAGLE (Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education) Award winner for demonstrating outstanding achievement in the state's adult education program.

"I am so honored and humbled to receive this award," said Walters. "Once I started participating in Adult Education, my eyes opened to a new world of excitement and things to discover. I gained new skills, knowledge and values, and I made some amazing friends. After receiving my GED credential, I enrolled in Georgia Piedmont Technical College, where I'm now studying Early Childhood Care & Education," he said. "I am determined to be the first male in my family to graduate from college, and I want to become a teacher."

Walters continued, "I consider myself to be an ambassador for Adult Ed, and I will continue to encourage others to take advantage of opportunities that are available through Adult Education."

The 2015 awards ceremony was held on March 18 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Atlanta. The award was presented by TCSG Commissioner Gretchen Corbin and TCSG Assistant Commissioner for Adult Education Beverly Smith. In addition to a trophy, Walters received an iPad and a new car.

"I congratulate Justin Walters on achieving this incredible honor," said Dr. Jabari Simama, president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College. "His story epitomizes how technicl colleges can play a major role in transforming lives. I appreciate April Greene for serving as Justin's nominating instructor. He is an example of the American Dream and he will be an excellent ambassador for the Adult Basic Education program."

Now in its 22nd year, the system's EAGLE Award acknowledges the outstanding accomplishments of Georgians who enroll in TCSG's adult education programs to earn their high school equivalency diploma. Each March, the local EAGLE winners participate in a conference that culminates with a lunch banquet in their honor.