If ever there was a personification of determination Janet Flemmon would be it. When Janet was only 12, her mom passed away and her grandparents became her caretakers. She describes her teen years as rough and challenging and as a result, she was unable to finish high school. She gave birth to a son when she was 16. “I didn’t really want to leave school, but I didn’t have assistance to help watch him,” she explained.
Eventually Janet found her way into Bridge Academy in Selma, AL. Bridge Academy was conceptualized by Pastor John Grayson of the Gospel Tabernacle Church and wife, Dr. CeCe Grayson. They combined their idea with the work of Cynthia Hobbs, who had previously worked in adult education and was tutoring adult learners independently, and Bridge Academy became reality.
Bridge Academy offers classes and support services to adults who did not finish traditional high school but want to attain a high school diploma. “Our program allows adult learners to study for and take the GED® test but in Alabama this process allows those that pass the exam to obtain a regular Alabama high school diploma,” explained Hobbs. “Because there is no need to reinvent the wheel, we use KET’s FastForward online learning system as our academic curriculum at Bridge Academy. It has everything our learners need including pre-tests, learning plans, practice opportunities, content in all subject areas, online-mobile access, practice exams and more. It is available on-demand for the flexibility our students need, and it is effective,” Hobbs said.
Bridge Academy was a perfect fit for Janet Flemmon. She attended classes every other day for some time but when the pandemic came, she did a little self-reflection. “I was just surviving. I mean I was busy and working and all, but I became determined to finish my high school diploma,” she explained.
She buckled down and passed her GED® exam in June 2020 and immediately got into the cosmetology program at Wallace Community College. Completing that program with Honors in 2021, Janet went back into school almost immediately to complete a business degree! Throughout this process, Janet says Ms. Cindy would call and encourage her. “I needed her motivation,” she said.
Being a student is challenging enough but Janet is also a single mom to three boys ages 21, 15 and 14. “I set high standards for them,” she says and expects them to work hard just as she has. In fact, her oldest son graduated from Bridge Academy in 2021 when she was completing her cosmetology program at Wallace.
As Janet studies to complete her dreams, she works full-time, does hair, nails, and facials on the weekends and continues to earn accolades in her college program. She remains on the President’s list and has the highest GPA in the school. As a result of those accomplishments, Janet has also been invited to be part of the Phi Theta Cappa Honor Society.
“Oh, I am busy, busy,” she says, “but I dream about having my own salon someday and when I do, I’ll run it to a ‘t’. Nobody is perfect but I’ll try to get close.”
No wonder Bridge Academy highlights the accomplishments of their own graduate, Janet Flemmon. KET is honored to have been a small part of the resources utilized by Janet and other learners at Bridge Academy. We congratulate Ms. Hobbs, Janet, the Grays and the work being done at Bridge Academy in Selma. Watch for Janet to be featured in the upcoming GED Grad Day video airing in May 2022.