Breaking the cycle of 'just getting by' - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Breaking the cycle of 'just getting by'

Christopher Copeland studies in Albany Tech computer lab Christopher Copeland studies in Albany Tech computer lab

By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - More south Georgians are realizing the importance of education.

The Albany area is one of the ten poorest metro areas in the country, but not everyone is using that as an excuse to continue the cycle of just getting by.

Affordable education is making it easier for younger generations to break the cycle.

Christopher Copeland sat in a college computer lab studying.

"My end goal is to be paramedic," said Copeland.

He's an Albany Tech student, being in a college classroom he's breaking the chain that held many of his family members back.

"I'm from Brooklyn New York, I'm the first one to go to college and I know my grandmother is very proud of me," said Copeland.

He knows education is the answer.

"I grew up in a low income family I grew up in the Brownsville projects," said Copeland.

With few resources available to him he moved to Georgia and found Albany Tech.

"This is the most under served area of the state," said Charles Proctor.

Proctor is Christopher's instructor.

"The typical cost of a class like this is $1,000 per quarter for everything," said Proctor.

"Most of my family never got their GED never went to college, I'm the only one that ever went to college," said Copeland.

"Depending on where you work in this area, you can make as much as $40,000 working one EMS job," said Proctor.

Those are encouraging words for Christopher who is determined to graduate.

"It's interesting to have students like Chris come in and you hear their stories and to see them in the end fulfill their dream, that's the most gratifying thing, they get a degree they move up through different levels of education and it introduces them to more money, more ability, and changes their lives," said Proctor.

Christopher says his life will be an example to others determined to succeed.

Albany tech has a 98 percent placement rate for all graduates, the Paramedic and EMT program places 100 percent of its graduates.


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