A Cherokee County mother and son both earned their GEDs recently, and soon will attend college together.
Heather Wooten and her son, Thomas Stewart, will both be attending Chattahoochee Technical College starting this fall, when Stewart starts classes. He will join his mom, who just completed her first semester there and made the Dean’s List with a 4.0 GPA.
“I became a mom at 15, so I didn’t have time to go to high school. I had to work and provide,” Wooten said.
Wooten said graduating with her son was a great experience. She completed her GED before Stewart, but they were able to take part in the same ceremony.
Stewart said his mom encouraged him to get his GED and was a big reason he decided to go for it.
It was fun graduating together, he said.
“Now we’re involved at Chattahoochee together,” Wooten said.
Stewart said he wants to be a history teacher, because it was his strongest area in school, and he feels like he could make a difference.
“I figured if I can be a history teacher and make learning about history fun, maybe somebody would get something out of it, and society wouldn’t make the same mistakes that we’ve been making for the past 100 years,” he said.
Stewart said he didn’t graduate high school — even though he was almost finished — because of the anxiety that came with larger class sizes than where he grew up in North Carolina.
“I moved down here with my parents about three and a half years ago,” Stewart said. “When I moved down here it was a big shock and I had some anxiety. ... I never really went back (to school.)”
Wooten agreed that it was because of Stewart’s anxiety that he was unable to finish school in Georgia, but said it was “cool” to be able to graduate with her son.