Dennis Barrier Success
7,300th GED® Graduate Honored
MCC GED® Graduate Number 7,300 Honored
Last year Mayland Community College Adult Education staff and faculty set a goal to reach GED® graduate number 7,300 in celebration of the program’s 40th year of quality adult education services to the Tri-County community. The program is pleased to announce that they have reached and exceeded this goal. The winning graduate is Mr. Dennis Silas Barrier, who was born the third of seven children to Roy and Sandra Barrier in Banner Elk, NC.
Dennis served in the US Army Reserves for six years, with two of these years in Germany. He earned his truck driving license (CDL) at Arkansas State University and served his community for five years as a Green Valley Fire Department volunteer. Dennis and his family are passionate about camping and fishing at Lake Douglas in Tennessee, and also enjoy attending Rebels Creek Baptist Church together.
Upon completion of his high school equivalency (GED®), Dennis’s employer, Explosives Supply Company Inc. of Spruce Pine, registered and paid tuition for him to attend “Batch School” in Raleigh. At the completion of this training, Dennis will earn his state certification in making DOT-approved “street mix” to be used in building highways.
When Dennis saw his oldest daughter complete her GED®, earn her CNA, and get a job at Brian Center a few years ago, he said to himself, “Now it’s time for me to finish school.” Dennis explains, “Learning as an adult is easier for me than when I was a teenager in high school. The GED® instructors at Mayland are so nice and very helpful. The classroom atmosphere is calm and relaxed, and there is absolutely no pressure put on students. Being in Mayland’s GED® class is just like being with your caring family. I especially enjoyed instructor Joel Nelson. He is a ‘class act!’”
When asked to name his greatest inspiration, Dennis quickly and lovingly responded, “My fiancée, Janice, and our children, have kept me studying and attending classes. Janice drilled me on my multiplication tables and helped me with homework every night and on weekends. I could not have graduated without her valuable help and constant encouragement.”
“Also,” Dennis continued, “my mom provided me with lots of strong support. She was very sick much of her life and died when she was only 45 years old. Her last words to me were, ‘Dennis, make something out of your life. Be strong and be a giver, not a burden to society.’”
Like Dennis’s situation, enrolling in the free GED® classes offered by Mayland Community College can bring about an incredible, positive change in a person’s life. Anyone interested in finding out more about how to find a new path to the future, whether it’s through earning a GED®, preparing for further training or education, or exploring possibilities for a new career is encouraged to call one of Mayland’s four Learning Lab locations: Main Campus (Spruce Pine) at 765-7351; Mitchell County Historic Courthouse (Bakersville) at 688-1984; Avery Learning Center (Newland) at 733-5017; or the Yancey Learning Center (Burnsville) at 682-2154.