//Lowndes resident named Wiregrass’s 2024 EAGLE Student

Lowndes resident named Wiregrass’s 2024 EAGLE Student

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Photo l-r: 2024 EAGLE presenting sponsor First Federal Savings and Loan of Valdosta Vice President Broc McDowell, 2024 Wiregrass EAGLE Winner Brenda Hooper, and Wiregrass President DeAnnia Clements.

VALDOSTA – Lowndes County resident was recently chosen to represent Wiregrass as the 2024 EAGLE Student of the Year.


Brenda Hooper of Lowndes County has been chosen to represent Wiregrass Georgia Technical College as the 2024 annual Dinah Culbreath Wayne Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education (EAGLE) Student of the Year. EAGLE is a statewide program that recognizes and rewards excellence among students enrolled in adult education programs.  The award was announced on October 26 at a reception sponsored by the Valdosta Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce and First Federal Savings and Loan of Valdosta.  This was the 27th annual event to honor an adult education student from Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. Valdosta Mayor Scott Matheson and Vice Chairman of the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners Mark Wisenbaker read proclamations on behalf of the city and county declaring it EAGLE Week.

The EAGLE Award program is a vital component of the Certified Literate Community Program of Georgia, an umbrella organization that brings all sectors of a community together with literacy providers to map out the best use of resources already available.  It also seeks to acquire the additional resources necessary to meet local literacy needs.  

Adult Education Instructor Darrell Hill nominated Brenda Hooper.  At the reception, Brenda shared the story of her journey to the adult education program at Wiregrass.  “What do you do when you are a 43-year-old single mother and have experienced: numerous evictions, domestic violence, missed job opportunities, and want to give up?” shared Hooper.  “You have to search deep down and find this four-letter word called “Hope”.”  After being fired from another job she found herself at a career center when she was asked if she had her high school diploma.  Having dropped out her senior year she had dropped the ball due to life’s inconveniences.  She took the career center’s advice and enrolled in Wiregrass’ Adult Education classes and successfully completed her GED in January of 2023.  Now, Hooper is a college student attending Wiregrass Tech in the Associate of Applied Science program with a concentration in Elementary Education.

“Now I am known to motivate other adult learners and return to the Horne Learning Center to inspire other students to persevere through life’s challenges,” shared Hooper. She credits the Adult Education program for providing her with an eraser to use on some of her mistakes while she continues to write her life story.

The finalists, including the winner, are Brenda Hooper (Lowndes County), Barbara Dunlap (Brooks County), Shawna Dominguez (Ben Hill County), and Z’Kerra Bradshaw (Coffee County).  The Adult Education program at Wiregrass is currently accepting new students.  The program’s basic skills classes are free and available at sites throughout the college’s eleven-county service area.  To learn more email adulteducationservices@wiregrass.edu.