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Sheriff Troy E. Nehls presents a certificate to Abigail Catt for finishing the General Educational Development course and passing the test. Photo courtesy of the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office.

RICHMOND, TX (Covering Katy) – Six female inmates in the Fort Bend County Jail participated in the initial GED graduation ceremony Tuesday at the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office.

A grant through Wharton County Junior College paid for the instructor, and the sheriff’s office set aside space and purchased computers to accommodate classes.

James Patterson, who spent a career in the education field before becoming the Fort Bend County Precinct 4 Commissioner, was the keynote speaker. Patterson congratulated the recipients for taking that first step toward becoming independent once they leave jail.

“There are two kinds of people: those who think they can, and those who think they can’t,” he said. “You’ve already proven to yourselves that you are people who can.”

Patterson said he faced many obstacles in his quest to get a college degree, but he and his family persevered. He told the graduates they now have a certificate that “will open a door just a little.”

“Don’t pay attention to the ‘they said’ people; ‘they said’ you can’t. Don’t listen to them,” he said. “You can.”

Each student, taught by WCJC instructor James Bonner, received a certificate for passing the General Educational Development test.

Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy E. Nehls presented certificates to each graduate. He commended the students for staying with the program and working hard in the past few months. Nehls said the program will continue and expand.

FBCSO will kick off a vocational program in the near future. A building at the sheriff’s office complex will house the program, which initially will focus on heating and air conditioning training.


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