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By Erin Smith

For many people, the battle with addiction can lead to broken promises and unfulfilled goals. One man at Southeastern Carolina Crossroads (SECC) decided not only to fight to overcome his addiction, he also chose to complete two very important life goals.

Cody Tucker, who recently completed the 60 day program at SECC, told Executive Director Kincy Barrow, “I’ve never completed anything in my life.”

After graduating from SECC, Tucker can proudly say, “I earned my GED.”

Barrow, who oversees the program at SECC, said Tucker had a history of being expelled from two high schools and Tar Heel Challenge Academy. Tucker also had attempted other addiction recovery programs but did not complete them.

Barrow said when Tucker arrived at SECC, he committed himself to completing the program. In addition to completing the program at SECC, Tucker was encouraged by the staff to also complete his GED.

“He was the first one to complete it (the GED program),” said Barrow.

He said at least five other students have attempted the GED program but none have reported completing it until Tucker completed his requirements. Southeastern Carolina Crossroads has developed a partnership with Bladen Community College to offer those in treatment an opportunity to earn their GED by completing their necessary credentials, taking and successfully passing the exam.

Sondra Guyton, Vice-President of Work Force and Continuing Education at Bladen Community College, said, “The partnership is a response to us working with the Bladen County Opioid Task Force.”

Guyton explained the college was looking for ways they could not only help with rehabilitation but also, help those individuals to be better prepared to return to work and home and be successful.

“This is a win for Southeastern Carolina Crossroads, a win for the college and, most importantly, a win for the students,” said Guyton.

Bladen Community College is not only offering students the chance to earn their GED, students can also earn their National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC). Cody Tucker also completed the NCRC and earned a silver certificate.

Guyton said the NCRC certification range from bronze to platinum. She said Bladen Community College offers a class at SECC where students can take a tutorial for the NCRC. Guyton said not only do students work on preparing for the NCRC, they also learn important work skills such as job interview techniques.

Guyton said the NCRC certification lets a potential employer know that individual has certain work skills and is ready for employment.

Barrow said once the partnership was established, Bladen Community College set up a computer lab at SECC where the students can spend two hours each day studying and learning necessary job skills or working on their GED.

Barrow said the benefit of the classes are that the students can start them and finish them at any time. He said if they complete their stay at SECC and have not completed their GED or their NCRC credentials, they can continue to work towards completing them at home.

Tucker graduated on Wednesday, November 21st, and returned home. On Tuesday, November 27th, he started his first job since returning home and is reported to be doing well thanks to SECC and the partnership with Bladen Community College.

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