Pinewood Park Learning Center helps resident break the cycle

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Travis Allred has spent countless hours in Pinewood Park Learning Center library. All those hours of hitting the books has paid off. He now has his GED.

"I always knew I had it in me to do great things," said Travis Allred, earned his GED. "When I was in high school I was a smart kid."

Unlike some drop-outs, at 17, he had a promising future. He was offered football scholarships to sevarl universities. Instead, he would spend the next 12 years of his life in dead -end jobs, caring for his brothers and sisters. His life took another unexpected turn.

"You know my son is 5 years old now and he doesn't even know his mother if she walked right past him right now," said Allred. "And that's hurtful. You know same thing happened to me as a child. I never thought this would happen to my own child."

He is trying to break the cycle and convince others they can too. Only 3 others out of 215 people that live in pinewood have taken advantage of the free GED course.

"I think the main reason, probably, is that people just can't see past their current situation," said Allred.

Eva Lynch introduced him  to a world outside of Pinewood Park Apartments.

"Everyone was laughing, making it a joke, but Travis stepped forward and he said, 'I'm interested in my GED.' "Travis is the only one who stepped-up,"said Lynch, excutive coordinator of Pinewood Park Learning Center.

"I'm not really a follower; I've always been a leader type of person," said Allred.

Allred plans to transfer to a four year university within the next year to study for a career in physical fitness and health sciences.

He hopes his story will inspire others to never give-up on their dreams. He credits Eva Lynch and Angelina College for opening the door of opportunity.

If you are interested in earning a GED or need to brush up on your educational skills, click here.