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Simultaneous Success: Three Generations Earn the GED Together

September 8, 2023

A unique success story took place in Thorn Hill, Kentucky when three generations of women achieved their GED® credentials at the same time! Their radiant smiles and bright pink graduation gowns are easy to spot in the graduation photo: Loretta Pennington, Crystal Brophy and Alexus Breau.

Loretta Pennington inspired her daughter, Crystal Brophy, and her granddaughter, Alexus Breau, to earn their GED credentials along with her. It had been one of her major life goals for many years, but obstacles came up, including a time of battling depression, so it turned into a long journey. Enrolling in GED classes at Thorn Hill Education Center was a game-changer. Loretta finally had the resources and support she needed to prepare for the tests and pass. With her daughter and granddaughter working hard all together for the same goal, it was an inspiring and fulfilling experience.  

For Alexus and Crystal, it was the first time going for the GED. They didn’t feel confident at first but with focused studying they built up the necessary skills for all four subjects. Alexus needed a second try to pass the test; Math was the toughest subject. Everyone was cheering her on – from her family to the team at Thorn Hill to fellow students.  

Alexus shared her appreciation for having such a great support network: “I wanted to get my GED so I could advance at work. Granny kept telling me I could do it. My husband, kids and family encouraged me.” 

Alexus is excited to be working at Thorn Hill now as a childcare assistant.  

All adult learners at Thorn Hill Education Center are grateful to be part of such a special place that invests all of its energy into student success. Thorn Hill Education Center stands out thanks to its wholeheartedly dedicated team who go the extra mile for every learner. It’s not just about academics, it’s about being flexible for different learning styles and understanding that everyone has work and life commitments in addition to classes.  

Weekly donations from Panera add a sweet touch with delicious baked goods. Fidgets and other fun items are on-hand when learners want to take a break. There is even a community garden. Childcare and transportation are provided as well. 

“People often say ‘you have to water the flowers, not the rocks’…I disagree. We water everyone, we know individuals learn with a variety of techniques. We will never give up on a student,” says Kelley Andersen, Executive Director and Instructor.  

Many learners at Thorn Hill left high school for heartbreaking reasons and challenges beyond their control. Life had thrown tough obstacles at them, and they appreciate knowing that they can receive the education and support they need at Thorn Hill. 

Thorn Hill provides a safe, welcoming environment where they can focus on improving their lives through education. Located in a 100-year historic school building, Thorn Hill offers technology and extra services to make it easier for learners to stay on track. Computers are available for learners, and they can even take the GED test at the same center in a calm, familiar setting.  

In Kentucky, the GED test is free and includes one free retake. The GED Ready® practice tests are free, too. At Thorn Hill, all classes are free. Funding from the Workforce Development Cabinet of Kentucky Adult Education and grants from State and Federal Governments make it possible. The team at Thorn Hill works hard to exceed goals to be among the top 10 adult education centers in the state every year. 

You can discover more about Thorn Hill Education Center at their Facebook page:  


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