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RCC helps Jones to GED at age 80

“Thank you, Lord! I made it!” Along with vigorous foot-stomping, this was the reaction of 80-year-old Lancaster County resident Mrs. Marvis Jones, when she learned that she had finally earned enough points to pass her GED test. Jones received her certificate at the Rappahannock Community College Commencement ceremony on May 11, as a member of RCC’s Adult Education class.

RCC Graduate M. Jones with President E. Crowther

RCC Graduate M. Jones with President E. Crowther

A grandmother of 19, great-grandmother of 23, and great-great-grandmother of one, Jones reached her educational goal only after years of struggle. She began her studies at her church, Sharon Baptist in Weems, with tutoring from the late Kay Kilgus. At first the GED tests did not seem hard, and Jones quickly worked through most of them. But mathematics, the same test that stymies so many students, stood in her way. Three years of hard study allowed her to pass the math test . . . but she still lacked the overall number of points needed to earn the GED, which requires more than just a minimum score in each subject.

Because she kept coming, never gave up, and constantly strove to grow intellectually, Jones was an inspiration to all the students around her. “If you want to do it, you can do it! Please want to do it!” she told them in an interview before her graduation. Speaking of the disappointment her mother suffered when she dropped out of high school so many years ago, Jones expressed special delight in the fact that she has finally righted that wrong. “If there is such a thing as sending a message to heaven, I’m sure that she would be smiling down on me today,” she says.

Jones gratefully acknowledges the patience and encouragement she received, during her ten-year journey, from her GED instructor, Ann Craun; her tutor, Donna Kelly of RCC’s Adult Education Program; and GED examiner Dr. Richard Glancy. She plans to invite more mental stimulation and development by learning to be a counselor, so that she can provide guidance and direction to the younger people within her church. “I want to keep my brain active and do something for someone else,” she states.


Photo: Eighty-year-old Lancaster County resident Marvis Jones, left, accepted her GED certificate from RCC president Dr. Elizabeth Crowther at the college’s Commencement on May 11.

One Response to “RCC helps Jones to GED at age 80”

  1. Nancy Lawson says:

    Anne Craun I am so proud of you. When we became friends years ago I knew there was something special about you and guess what I wasn’t wrong… are wonderful! How great for Ms. Jones and I have no doubt her Mom is smiling down at her from up above.

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