Student Spotlight: Johnny George

April 28, 2016

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Tutor Ray Davis and Johnny George

“I have been waiting for this recognition all of my life.”

The first thing you notice about Johnny George is the warmth of his smile and how very easy it is to strike up a conversation with him. After serving in the army during the Vietnam era and completing a successful 37-year career with Baltimore Gas and Electric, Johnny could well have rested on his laurels during his retirement. Instead, he’s seized the opportunity to sharpen his literacy skills by working with Anne Arundel County Literacy Council tutor Ray Davis.

Because Johnny left his North Carolina high school before graduation to join the army, he never received a diploma. Yet his quick intelligence enabled him to learn how to handle big equipment while he was in the service. He then went on to work with various trucking companies before spending most of his career at BGE.

Yet all the while Johnny yearned to finish his education and earn a GED. With some encouragement from Pauline, his wife of 40 years, Johnny reached out to the Literacy Council and was matched with his tutor Ray. After two years of working together, Ray was so impressed by Johnny’s progress in improving his reading and writing skills that he searched the internet and found a uniquely meaningful way to honor his pupil. His online hunt revealed that an honorary diploma program existed for veterans–and that Johnny qualified.

When Johnny eventually received this honorary high school diploma he was thrilled: “I had been waiting for this [recognition] all my life!” But now he’s set himself a new goal. Like so many of us, Johnny’s eager to polish his technology skills and has turned to Ray to help him master such computer tasks as emailing and word processing.

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