The Razor’s Edge, by Madeleine Richey

What is a GED? GED stands for General Educational Development, a series of tests which after successful completion, will earn you a certificate that states you have the equivalent of a high school education.

I never had to take the GED, because I was homeschooled through Kolbe Academy, which allowed my mother to teach me and have some say in the coursework, but all in all we followed a curriculum set by the academy. At the end of my high school years this past summer, I was sent my diploma, and this allowed me to gain entry to my university. But I have a friend who is homeschooled, who now faces the task of taking the GED for the equivalent of a high school diploma.

Or I should say, is faced with the question of whether to take the GED or not, because, supposedly, you do have a choice.

What we may not realize though, still living with our parents, and wrapped up in school as we are, is that we need that certificate, or that diploma. And if at all possible, we need more. Most restaurant jobs require the equivalent of a high school education. If you are a teenager who is applying, you are required to have at least some high school, with the understanding that you are still in the process of completing your high school education. Most grocery store applications require a high school education. And even if they don’t, what are the chances that you—without a high school diploma or its equivalent—are going to land the job above someone who is college educated?

It may seem unfair, and maybe it is, but that’s the hard reality. In this economy, there are more job seekers than jobs. You have to be the better candidate if you want that job. I work in a restaurant. I take orders at register, run the drive-thru, make desserts, put food on trays, and clean. It’s simple work and I love it because I like meeting new people, talking, being active, and working with my co-workers. But it’s hard work. Eight or nine hour shifts are long and hard, especially when they end at almost one o’clock in the morning. Even though it’s simple hard work, they still asked about my high school education.

Madeleine, 16, says: “I want to help people and I want to tell stories, especially the stories of people who don’t have a voice of their own.” Visit her blog at

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