DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Two Dougherty County inmates are turning their lives around, thanks to the jail's GED program.
While serving time, RaKine Hall and NyKi Stephen earned their GEDs Wednesday afternoon.
As Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul said, "Confer this GED diploma to RaKine Hall. Come on up RaKine," his family was there to cheer him on.
Wednesday was a very special day for Hall, after months of hard work, he finally earned his GED.
"I just wanted to smile, I don't know, I was happy though. I didn't think I passed, I was happy that I passed," said Hall.
Dougherty County Jail partnered with Albany Technical College for the program.
Both Hall and Stephen are now the 30th and 31st inmates to get their GEDs behind bars.
"We're proud of what you accomplished," said Dougherty County Jail Administrator Colonel John Ostrander.
Hall hung out with the wrong crowd, and Stephen made some bad decisions.
"I had a lot of days I wanted to stop and give up," explained Hall.
"Just stop coming," said Stephen.
But not on Corporal Vivian Hunt's watch.
"They know when they come to the classroom, it's about business," said Hunt. "It's been a rewarding experience helping these guys achieve their goals."
For Hall, this was also his first time seeing his one-year-old daughter.
"I don't want her to just grow up and see her daddy not doing anything in life," said Hall.
Stephen's mom pushed him. She was constantly telling him to, "'Do something with your time, make yourself better.' And I went and got my GED to help myself out," explained Stephen.
And now he wants others to learn from his mistakes.
"Ain't no win in none of it. You're going to lose either way you go, so you might as well take the long route then go the easy way," said Stephen.
Hall and Stephen are the fourth Dougherty County inmates to get their GEDs this year.
The program is funded primarily by donations, which are running low.
Jail deputies are asking residents to donate funds for the inmates' books and testing fees.
If you'd like to make a donation, you can call the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office.
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