DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Wednesday was a day of celebration at the Dougherty County Jail as two inmates were awarded their GEDs they earned while serving time.
Nukemar "Tune" Batten,19, hugged his mother and grandmother as he celebrates receiving his GED. They came from metro Atlanta to be part of the degree awarding.
"I'm elated. I'm excited. He made my dream come true," said Batten's mother Shekila Green.
Batten said he was determined to get his GED.
"It took some dedication. It took some brains too," explained Batten.
Jamarcus Boyd, 20, also earned his GED on Wednesday. He also earned his degree through the jail program to get his life back on track.
The Dougherty County Sheriff's Office has offered the GED education program at the jail since 2010, and Batten and Boyd are their 25th and 26th graduates.
"Lack of education is one of the problems we have seen that cause incarceration," said Sheriff Kevin Sproul. "Not only incarceration, but recidivism. Without the education we all know it's very difficult to survive in our world today."
Both young men have high goals, and now believe this education milestone is another step forward.
"Get out of here. Go to a technical college," said Batten "Maybe retake my GED, get a higher level. Get into a university."
"And I'm so proud of Dougherty County. I thank Dougherty County for opening this program up for these kids," explained Batten's grandmother Francis Boyd Green.
Both Batten and Boyd will finish serving their time and are scheduled to be released in the next month.
The hope is that with their education, they will never see jail bars again.
The Dougherty County Jail GED program has 29 inmates currently enrolled. It is funded completely by donations to the Sheriff's Office, and accredited through Albany Technical College.