It was the year 1995. Clyde Welch Jr., 16, was in tenth grade when he made the difficult decision to drop out of high school in Harlem, Georgia.
“My home life was not good,” Welch told FOX Television Stations. “Mother suffered from mental health issues and Dad wasn’t any help. So I moved out on my own at 15.”
The following year, he began working full-time in construction and completed his high school degree.
Welch worked hard for the following 27 years to construct a successful life. As a laborer, he honed his concrete and carpentry abilities. He subsequently changed careers and became a technician, eventually opening his own small appliance repair shop in Edgefield, South Carolina, called Augusta Appliance Repair & Service.
He married and had children as well.
However, there was a void, and Welch remembered a difficult decision he made as a teenager.
“Three of my children are still in high school, and I felt it was vital for me to set an example for them and demonstrate the value of education,” Welch said.
And it was at that point that he resorted to his faith.
“I felt directed by God to get my GED after much prayer,” he stated.
Welch then began working on his GED, an alternative to a high school graduation in the United States, and received his diploma from the Edgefield-McCormick County Adult Education and Literacy Center in March.
“They made the process simple and helped me overcome my apprehension about returning to school after 27 years,” Welch said.
The father also gives credit to his family for assisting him in keeping up with his schoolwork. Holly, his 16-year-old daughter, coached him in science, and his other children assisted him in studying and preparing for tests, he added.
“My sister-in-law, Kari, drove over 100 miles to coach me in arithmetic in order to help me prepare for the test,” he continued.
Welch said that now that he has his certification, he wants to get his theology certificate and a degree in engineering.