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Army Prep School

Army Prep School

Everyone deserves a second chance. The Army is helping soldiers who didn’t graduate high school earn their GEDs. Crystal Park takes us to the Army Prep School at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. A block away from the house I saw the sirens behind me, and I was like, “Oh, no,” that balls in the stomach feeling, that, “Man.” Private Joshua Klapheke has a colorful past. The youngest of four boys, he managed to get into trouble frequently in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The sheriff told me, “You’re going down the wrong path. You’re falling off the railroad tracks.” By the 10th grade, Private Klapheke dropped out of high school. He took the sheriff’s advice, who also happened to be his uncle, and– [soldiers shouting] –joined the Army. But before he can go to basic training– They have to be able to obtain a GED while here in a reasonable amount of time. If not, it’s an entry level separation. If I said it was a bright, sunny day as I walked out… The Army Prep School helps aspiring soldiers prepare for and pass the GED. Teachers who specialize in math, science, history, and English spend weeks reviewing materials. These guys come from all walks of life and with various stories. This is a second chance for them to get their education. So the aptitude is there in all of these guys. I see excellent leadership potential. More than a thousand soldiers have earned their GEDs since the first class came through in August 2008. All right. You’ve got no protection right here. In addition to classroom work, they’re introduced to soldiering skills they’ll need for basic training and beyond. I feel like I’m finally now starting to change back into the person I was before the bad things, before any of that happened, because I’m finally clearheaded again. I’m doing something with my life–doing something rather than nothing. [laughing] Crystal Park, Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

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