Local woman earning high school diploma after 32 years

News 12 This Morning/Thursday Dec. 12, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW)--"I got pregnant my senior year and at the last minute I was told that I needed five hours to graduate so I just said...no. I'm not going to finish this," explained Francine Chance.

Although Chance completed the 12th grade, it wasn't enough for her to earn her diploma--so just shy of the five hours needed to graduate she dropped out of high school.

That was back in 1981 and she said ever since, she's had to be creative to land jobs.

"Lies...fibs," she said. "[I was] lying on my application saying that I had finished school. But, the last job I was on--it kind of caught up with me."

Chance tells me her last job asked for documentation.

But she says it wasn't the job that really pushed her to consider heading back to school.

"I have three kids--one daughter, two sons. My daughter is in three year remission from cancer," she explained. "And the battle with the breast cancer, it really did it because helping my granddaughter with her homework [helped] me me [realize] I really needed to go to school."

So, she enrolled at the Richmond County Performance Learning Center.

"I feel like it was my time to do something for me," she said.

She went to class, filling notebooks with study notes to complete her coursework and prepare for her exams.

"They got me in the history class and I completed it," she said. "I'm fifty years old...I think it's great! I'm happy."

And for others who feel it's too late to finish--she says--it's never too late.

"I advise them to go back because it's a positive thing to do and it helps in getting better jobs," said Chance.

Now that she's one step closer to her diploma, she tells me she already has a job lined up.

She gets her official diploma after finishing her end of course test in January, but on Dec. 12, she and other graduates of the Performance Learning Center will have the chance to celebrate at Honors Day, which is hosted by the school. The event takes place on the 12th at 9:00 am at the Kroc Center.

For more information on the Performance Learning Center, click the link below.

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