Local Teacher Helps High School Dropouts

By: Jerry Askin Email
By: Jerry Askin Email

One local teacher in Wakulla County is helping high school dropouts and jail inmates earn their GED and turn their lives around.

Steven Herrington says, "His high spirits and wanting to teach kids is awesome - you don't get many teachers like that these days."

Steven Harrington is talking about his GED instructor Mr. Don Franks who he says has helped to change his life. Franks works at the Wakulla Adult Education Center three days a week and twice a week at the Wakulla County Jail, helping high school dropouts earn their GED. Franks says he enjoys helping students succeed and giving them a second chance.

Franks says, "I have that sense of knowing that I have helped someone to move on with their life so I really enjoy it..and as far as I'm concerned I'll probably be here until the day I die."

Franks spent 14 years as a paralegal and earned his bachelors degree at FSU. He says helping kids brings him a sense of joy, helping them to put their past behind them and strive to be a better person.

Franks says, "To be there for them to help them and say 'hey you can do it'.. Despite what you did before you came to this program."

Many students say Mr. Don Franks has that personal touch and he has helped them turn their lives around and get their GED.

Herrington says, "It's a wonderful thing to get your education because in this world you need it and without you can't get nowhere."

Brenda Eaton who works as an Informational Specialist at the Wakulla Adult Education Center says, "He'll go the extra step, he'll see them in public and he'll say where have you been... you need to get in there and get your GED."

Whether Franks is working as a mentor, instructor, or father .. he says he loves people and will do anything for anyone.

Don Franks is currently working on his Master's Degree in Educational Leadership at FAMU and hopes to enhance the educational programs at both the jail and the education center and of course help other dropouts get back in school.

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