At Dallas Public Library, You Can Get Your GED -- A First In Texas | KERA News

At Dallas Public Library, You Can Get Your GED -- A First In Texas

Oct 30, 2014

A quarter of Dallas adults never graduated from high school. The Dallas Public  Library hopes to change that with a new GED testing center unveiled Wednesday in its main downtown building. It will be the first of its kind in a Texas library.

A lot of people across Dallas are studying for their GED. Finding a place to take the high school equivalency test when they’re ready can be tough. That’s what Richard Ramos, who’s 39, found out last year.

“Every place around here in Dallas was full,” Ramos says. “So Rockwall was the only one that had an opening. And I needed to do it by a certain deadline for work. They were the ones that had it for me.”

Richard Ramos dropped out of high school more than 20 years ago after he became a father and went to work. Now a single father of four, his employer discovered he lacked a high school diploma and insisted he get his GED to save his job.
Credit Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Ramos is a single father of four who dropped out of high school more than 20 years ago. He passed the test his employer insisted on, and kept his job.

The new GED testing center on the Dallas Library’s third floor should make things easier for people like Ramos. It will let 3,000 additional students take the GED every year. And it’s never too late, says Kevin Franklin, another student. He’s 57 and lives at the nearby Dallas Life Foundation, a homeless shelter. 

“All these years I’ve been faking it and going through it,” Franklin says. “And most of the time when I do get a job I’m lying about my GED, lying about a diploma, stuff like that. I’m just trying to put everything on a clean slate and I’m trying to do something for myself and say I’ve done it.”

Jo Giudice, the library’s director, works to help others with the same goal. That’s when she says Atmos Energy stepped in, encouraging her to think bigger.

“This is very special," Giudice said. "This came from a very honest give-and- take between us where this was the outcome and it was truly a dream come true.” 

The gas provider is paying $100,000 to create the GED test center, scheduled to open Nov. 15.

The GED testing center is on the third floor of Dallas' main library in downtown.
Credit Bill Zeeble / KERA News