Johnston, S.C. (WJBF) – One Edgefield County graduate is showing people it’s never too late.

Clyde Welch is 43 years old, married with a family, and owns his own business, Augusta Appliance Repairs and Service, which he has owned for almost 20 years.

While Welch has accomplished a lot in life, things weren’t always easy.

“When I was 15, things were difficult at home. No one in my family had graduated from high school. My living conditions were bad so I got a full-time job. On my second day of the tenth grade, I withdrew and eventually left the area, never returning back to high school,” said Welch, in a release from the School District of Edgefield County.

Despite challenges Welch has spent the last thirty years working hard and achieving success, but there was something missing.

“I have a good life but want to do more and continue my education,” he said. I feel drawn to complete a certificate course in theology and eventually obtain an engineering degree. To make this happen, I knew I had to first get my GED. I made a call to the Adult Education center and got started.”

The folks at Edgefield-McCormick County Adult Education and Family Literacy didn’t make it hard for welch to accomplish his goals, even after not being in school for thirty years.

“I called the center on February 28, 2022, and Mrs. Jones  was so kind and encouraging.” he said. “She and I met in person the next morning so that I could set my goals, take the TABE assessment and complete the paperwork. I brought home study materials and started studying that very day.” 

“Mr. Welch has shown that it is never too late to complete your educational goals. Our staff is ready to help community members–of any age, background  and education level–get started on accomplishing their dreams,” said Vickie Butler, director of Edgefield-McCormick County Adult Education and Family Literacy.

Welches graduation ceremony took place on Friday, May 27, 2022. He encourages others who want to get their GED to call Edgefield-McCormick County Adult Education and Family Literacy.

“It’s never too late to start a new chapter,” he advised. “When you decide to do it, apply yourself and do it–no matter what, step by step. Make it a priority. If you can devote an hour each evening to study and make progress on your next education goal, you can make it happen.”

“Mr. Welch was a pleasure to have as a student. His heart and mind were receptive to the requirements of the program. He took on each assignment with a ‘can do’ attitude, allowing him to excel,”  Butler stated. “His energy and dedication have allowed him to be a beacon of light for older students deciding to return to school.”

Even though Welch has his GED, his education journey isn’t over.

”I want peace, love, and good food in my life. I am now ready to earn bachelor’s degrees in theology and engineering and start a new path with new career opportunities,” said Welch.