Chris Parker of UK Facilities Management Earns GED
On Thursday, May 11th, Chris Parker from UK Facilities Management walked across the stage and
obtained his GED. It's been a long time coming. He has actively been working towards his goal of getting a GED for five years, and it hasn't been easy. The math was particularly difficult, and he almost quit multiple times. But luckily, Chris is very personable, and because of that, people believed in him, supported him, and wouldn't let him quit.
In high school, Chris admits that he didn't give his all. He couldn't pass a class in his senior year, so he had to retake it during summer school. He walked across the stage with the rest of his class at graduation but never received a diploma because of that one class. So, he joined the United States Navy. Despite being told that he could get his GED while in the Navy, it never happened. Then, he was deployed to serve in Operation Desert Storm. After that, things changed. His priorities shifted, leading him to leave the military.
In September 1994, Chris got a job as a Custodial Worker at the University of Kentucky. Over time, he worked his way up to a Custodial Lead position, which he is still in today. His supervisor, Marianna Marsh, started encouraging Chris to get his GED and move up even more within the organization, so he decided to start taking classes and see if he could finally complete what he had left unfinished all those years ago.
In his 29 years with Facilities Management at UK, Chris has worked all over campus: the Student
Center, graduate housing, Scovell Hall, and the Funkhouser Building. But the building that he’s currently assigned to is extra special to Chris: the J. David Rosenberg College of Law. It’s in that building where he’s made connections that he feels helped him to finally be able to obtain his GED. Danny Murphy, Vanessa Linger, and Kimberly Schindler are all Law School employees whom Chris wants to thank for their support. When they found out that he was struggling with math, they started quizzing him with math problems while he was cleaning.
At the College of Law, Chris also met a student named Desmond Varner. Desmond became Chris’s tutor, even coming to his house on the weekends to work with him, asking nothing in return. Chris says he absolutely “couldn’t have done this” without Desmond’s help.
Upon hearing the news of his achievement, Chris said one of the first people he called was his supervisor, Marianna Marsh. He couldn’t wait to tell her, and everyone else who had supported him. When asked what advice he has for others in a similar situation, Chris said: “Never quit. Never give up. It may take longer than expected, but it’s all worth it in the end.” Congratulations, Chris!