The night before T.C. Williams graduation, there was another graduation ceremony. Fourteen adults walked across the stage in the T. C. Williams auditorium and received their high school diplomas. They are members of the 2007 Adult Education program. Audrey Davis, program coordinator said, All of them have worked very hard to get their diplomas. We are very proud of them.
One of those graduates was Verdie Gadson, a mother and grandmother who will celebrate her 60th birthday in August.
I left high school in 1966 and went to Job Corps, Gadson said. I had a speech problem because of an accident when I was two and sometimes kids made fun of me. My sister signed me up for Job Corps because she thought I would do well there. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I left school in June and started Job Corps in September so it wasnt like I dropped out or anything.
In Job Corps, Gadson learned filing and data entry and got her General Education Diploma. With her GED and secretarial skills, she went to Hartford, Conn., where she worked for the Connecticut State Highway Department and the City of Hartford. In 1972, she moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked for a variety of D.C. and federal government agencies. She moved to Alexandria in the late 70s and lives in the city today. Her children both graduated from T.C. Williams High School.
I decided to go back to school because I was always a little ashamed that I only had a GED, Gadson said. Also, my mother went back to school when she was 98 years old to learn to write. She didnt finish but she could sign her checks and that was what she wanted to be able to do. I felt like I had a lot of things to learn, too, even though I have taken some college classes over the years.
Gadson, who saw her granddaughter off to Job Corps this week, plans to move into the Ladrey Senior High-rise. She would like to finish college and maybe attend law school.