Janell Porter’s children weren’t able to come cheer on their mom as she was inducted into the National Adult Education Honor Society through Horry County’s Adult Education this past week, but she said they were in her heart.
“My kids are my biggest supporters, they are beyond proud,” Porter said. “I was surprised and elated to be nominated.”
Porter said going back to finish her GED was an eye-opening experience for her, realizing how little confidence she had in herself over the years.
“This has certainly been a confidence boost. It’s been making me strive to do more things I haven’t experienced and push myself to do things that are intimidating,” Porter said.
To qualify for the membership, students had to demonstrate dependable attendance, a cooperative attitude and a significant work ethic. Teachers nominated and selected 30 qualified candidates from more than 1,000 students.
Also inducted into the honor society were Andrew Scott Arnold, Erin Buckner, Ashley Coleman, Lillian Dawson, Marie Cabera Dawson, Brandy Deavers, Hayriye Eroltu, Claudia Diaz Flores, Evelyn Funes, Kevin Garcia Carpio, Jantina Jackson, Cheyenne Angel Johnson, Brittney Johnson, Lauryssa Kelley, Robin Michelle Lamb, Jacob Lightsey, Jin Yu Lin, Ryan MacDougall, Boitumelo Masibi, Sindy Michaca, Leah Mills, Logan Osborne, Iara Pasqua, Janaina Rezende, Anais Romero, Bryson Sawyer, Catherine Smith, Robert Van Horn and Anneek Woodward.
Porter said she was married and became a mother at a very young age, and was a stay-at-home mom for 25 years. Her children are Alex (25), Alonzo (22) and Akiela (20).
“I’d had jobs here and there, but my role was to raise my children and take care of the home,” Porter said.
She left her home and everything in it to move to Horry County, because she was going through a divorce and her parents lived here.
“I needed support to start my life over,” she said.
She got here on New Year’s Eve of 2018 and less than a week later was enrolled at Horry County Adult Education.
“At this point, I’d been out of school for 26 years and…I only went to ninth grade,” Porter said. “Here I was, in a new state, going through a divorce and trying to stay focused on achieving my GED. Mrs. Pam Jackson, Dr. Tracy Bellamy and Mrs. Darlin Jordan encouraged me daily to keep pushing and telling me I could do it.”
She said she worked hard, and did well, and completed her GED.
“It was difficult at times, but with each test, even the practice testing, I gained more and more self-confidence,” Porter said.
She plans to start at Horry-Georgetown Technical College in the fall and follow her dreams into the medical fields, where she wants to study to be a surgery technician.
“I’ve been working really hard, studying and testing and doing everything I can to secure my future,” Porter said.
Special speaker at the ceremony was Melqaam Shaw, Porter’s college and career navigator.
“He was very inspirational,” Porter said.
She said they received their certificate and cord, and each honoree had a family member help with the pinning ceremony.
“It was a special moment for sure,” Porter said.
The mission of the National Adult Education Honor Society is to provide meaningful recognition to deserving adult education students, to improve student employment opportunities, to develop student ambassadors for local adult education programs and to create adult education awareness with school administrators and state legislators.