Larry Ellis

“This time I’ll be ready when opportunity comes along.”

Like many people in his hometown, Larry Ellis dropped out of high school. He followed in his father’s footsteps and became a sawmill worker. He wanted to complete his education but a brief Larry Ellistry left him discouraged so he dropped out again. Larry, now 55, has worked hard all his life as a truck driver and as a former volunteer firefighter, but his lack of education always held him back. He watched jobs, promotions and opportunities pass him by. When Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute offered a High School Equivalency program near his home in Watauga County, Larry’s family encouraged him to try. Within six months, Larry was taking the tests he needed to prepare him for his High School Equivalency exam.

“I'm still driving a truck, but I have been told about some jobs coming up later this year,” he said. “This time I will be ready when the next opportunity comes along. I'm glad I have my High School Equivalency which gives me more options.” Larry has told his story many times in his community and to the State Board of Community Colleges in hopes that others will know they too can find hope, opportunity and jobs at NC Community Colleges.