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Linda Mah
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Maurice and Tre Frank: Education Couple

Couple Earns GEDs Together

They should have done it sooner.

Husband and wife Maurice and Tre Frank earned their GEDs through Adult Education this school year. And, it was a lot easier and faster than either ever imagined.

Tre Frank, 25, and Maurice Frank, 29, were born and raised in Kalamazoo. Both attended Kalamazoo Public Schools, but they say that they each spent a lot of time moving, which made it difficult to connect to teachers and schools.

“I went to pretty much every Kalamazoo public school growing up,” Maurice Frank said.

Tre Frank said she always knew she was smart. But, “I was a problem child,” she said with a little laugh. “I was a rebel. I didn’t like going to school. I didn’t have any credits. It was just a focus thing.”

Maurice Frank was attending high school, when he found out his girlfriend at the time was pregnant.

“I found out I was going to have a son,” he said. “I was working at the time, and you know the school was saying you have to be at the school at this time if you want to get your credits. I figured working and taking care of my son would be the best for me at the time.”

But as the years went on, they both regretted not having that high school diploma.

“I always wanted to finish,” Maurice Frank said. “I’m from a family where the majority of my family never received their diplomas. I wanted to be one of the people who did.”

Tre Frank works at Borgess Gardens and is now taking classes to become a certified nursing assistant, with hopes of eventually becoming a physical therapist — but the first step was earning a high school diploma. And, he is applying to trucking school, which also wants drivers to have a high school diploma.

The couple has been together for eight years and been married for one year. They operate as a pretty tight team, so when Tre Frank decided to go back to school, her husband was following close behind. Having a team approach to the goal was helpful, they say.

“You have someone to keep you focused,” she said. “They just have the same goal as you.”

Once they actually enrolled, the process moved quickly. She had her GED within three weeks. He started a little later and had his degree within six weeks. Tre Maurice said one thing that helped was that they both used online apps to prepare for the test — even before enrolling in adult education. That helped acquaint them with the test, both the types of questions they’d face and the process.

Maurice Frank said the Adult Education teachers are especially helpful. He and his wife went through so quickly they didn’t really engage in many of the Adult Education classes, but when they did need help, “the teachers are hands-on and right there working with you.”

He’s proud that his son, Maurice Jr., has been able to watch him accomplish the goal of getting his high school diploma. The rest of his family is equally as proud of him.

“I’m proud of myself,” Tre Maurice said. “Before I got the GED, I was struggling to get by. As soon as I got it, everything started picking up. Once you get that education, doors open up for you.

“I’d tell people to go ahead and do it. Make that step.”

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