Russell County woman recognized in ceremony at KY Capitol

Frankfort, KY – Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman celebrated National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week Sept. 20-24 by signing a proclamation and launching the new My Story Reimagined campaign to promote Kentucky Skills U, the state’s adult education program in the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC).

“Many of the answers to Kentucky’s economic, workforce and social challenges can be found in adult education services, but we have to spread the word about the free resources that are readily available across the state and encourage Kentuckians to use these services to improve the standard of living for themselves and their families,” said Gov. Beshear.

The following eight KYSU participants were honored during the My Story Reimagined campaign launch today at the Capitol Building:

  • Kelli Jo Blair, Martin County;
  • Michael Curd, Anderson County;
  • Shengxia Ding, Jefferson County;
  • Mason Hampton, Pike County;
  • Maria Hill, Russell County;
  • Danielo Pickett, Warren County;
  • Ginger Sparks, Warren County; and
  • Bonnie Sprinkles, Taylor County.

“If Kentucky is a house, its foundation is education. To ensure Kentuckians and their families are able to successfully engage and thrive in society and today’s workforce, we have to put our shoulders to the wheel and together push education at all levels to the forefront of our state. It has to be a priority in every county in our commonwealth,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman, and educator who is also the secretary of EWDC.

By featuring the stories of eight real Kentuckians who used the Kentucky Skills U program, the campaign will encourage the approximately 317,000 working-age Kentuckians without a high school diploma or GED to seek adult education programs and services and get a GED. Adult education services include GED test preparation courses, English language instruction, upskilling to get or keep a job, family literacy programs and preparing for postsecondary education.

“The My Story Reimagined campaign recognizes the wonderful people of Kentucky and the things they have done. We hope that it will spark a fire throughout the 120 counties of this state and say this is possible regardless of who you are or where you live in this state or your background. This can be you. This is possible,” said Office of Adult Education Executive Director John Gregory, Ph.D.

In January 2020, Gov. Beshear announced that Kentucky would waive the testing fee for Kentuckians seeking to earn a GED diploma. Since then, more than 6,300 Kentuckians have taken advantage of the fee-waiver program to work toward their GED credential.

The GED test fee is one of the most common barriers facing adults lacking education in Kentucky. With more than 317,000 working-age Kentuckians without a GED credential or high school diploma, the EWDC has allotted $600,000 in state funding to waive test fees for first-time test takers. The GED test fees, which are the equivalent of $120, cover all four test sections.

Kentuckians can take the GED test virtually or in-person through KY Skills U at https:\\

Find a Kentucky Skills U provider in your area at

“If you feel like you are too old to learn or you do not have the money or time to improve yourself, please check out the inspiring stories of eight of your fellow Kentuckians who are the faces of the My Story Reimagined campaign. They have overcome a variety of circumstances by using Kentucky Skills U services to improve their lives, and so can you,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman.

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Zac Oakes is the News and Sports Director for and Laker Country WJRS 104.9 FM.