Meet June Buchanan:
At age 76, June Buchanan could teach us all a thing or two about how to make the most of hard times. Mrs. Buchanan, a resident of the Green Valley Community, is surviving this depressed economy by going back to school to pursue her GED®.
June grew up in Crossnore, North Carolina. She attended Crossnore High School and then dropped out of school at the age of eighteen to get married. Before long, June found herself hard at work raising children and working at a mill. Like many adults, June thought that married life with children and a job meant that she could never return to school.
Today June is proving her old ideas wrong. In the spring of 2010, June enrolled in the Adult Education Department on the Avery Learning Center of Mayland Community College to study for her GED®. June’s desire to return to school resurfaced after she took a lay off at U.S. Textiles where she had worked for 24 years. Admirably, Mrs. Buchanan chose to be laid off in order to prevent some younger co-workers from losing their jobs. June explained, “I felt that I had worked there long enough, and I didn’t want to see the younger adults who were raising children lose their jobs.”
After June gave up her position, she decided to take a Mayland Community College computer class along with some fellow co-workers who were also out of work. June said, “Some of my co-workers decided to also enroll in the Adult Education class to get their GED®, and they talked me into coming, too”.
The courage to return to school despite her age, coupled with her perseverance, has enabled June to be successful at Mayland. After five months in the classroom, Mrs. Buchanan had passed the GED® Tests in science, social studies, reading and writing. “June has an unmatched determination that enables her to beat all odds”, said Gina Coffey, an instructor in Adult Education. Another instructor, Sharon Vance, added, “Each day, June enters the classroom with an intrinsic motivation to earn her GED®.” At present, June is studying for her last test—mathematics. Mrs. Vance elaborated, “There have been numerous concepts in math to which she had never been exposed, but she is not deterred by the challenges. Often when we have covered a concept with her, June looks us in the eye and, with a steadfast determination, cheerfully says, ‘Well, I’ll give it a try.’”
When asked about her advice on returning to school, June said, “Anyone can go back to school if they try hard enough. If I can do it, then anyone can.” Mrs. Buchanan is confident of this because the teachers work with each student individually. This personal attention has made June feel comfortable and has allowed her to work at her own pace.
After completing her GED®, June plans to find a new job. “I am not sure what type of job I want”, she says, “but, I like to stay busy.” This statement truly defines who June is – a woman who does not give up, even during difficult economic times. She looks toward the future with hope and a positive attitude. Ultimately, June is more than just a student; she is a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who inspires us to better ourselves.