Darlene Driscoll, 31, graduated from Gwinnett Technical College with a GED as her husband, daughter, mother and judge stood proudly alongside her.
Photo: Gwinnett Technical College
Photo: Gwinnett Technical College

31-year-old Gwinnett Tech grad turns life around to earn GED with only a 6th grade education

On Wednesday, May 17, 76 Gwinnett Tech students walked across the commencement stage to become GED graduates, many of whom reached the milestone only after overcoming great adversity.

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With the help of a Gwinnett County judge, one student left behind a life of drug abuse and toxic relationships to earn her GED.

When Darlene Driscoll, 31, was in middle school, she was kicked out and eventually left home.

As her life got out of hand, she ended up at Gwinnett County’s drug court where she met Judge Kathy Schrader.

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As part of a recovery and remediation plan, Driscoll earned her GED at Gwinnett Tech, mentored by Schrader herself.

Schrader cheered from the audience as her mentee walked across the stage last week.

“Judge Schrader believed in me in ways I didn’t believe in myself. She believed I could do it, when I was certain I couldn’t. She pushed me and showed me I could,” Driscoll said.

To people who think they can’t achieve something due to their age, she said, “I am living proof it’s never too late.”

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