The award is sponsored by Mannington Commercial, the GNTC Adult Learning Center and the Calhoun-Gordon Council for a Literate Community.
Fridell said her mother had quit school in the fourth grade to help support her family of 13.
“Earning my GED gave me the confidence my mother never had said Fridell, the ninth GED graduate to receive the award.
Fridell, when was married by the time she was 17 and had her first child when she was 18. Later, as a divorced mother with two sons, she enrolled in the GED program when it was being offered in the Gordon Hills Shopping Center.
Coleen Brooks and other staff members pushed her to succeed.
“When Amanda first walked through our doors, I thought she was looking for a job, but she said she was there to a GED,” Brooks said. “She was nervous — scared to death — but it didn’t take her long to get her GED.”
Brooks said after Fridell earned her GED, she worked for DFACS and Tallatoona before moving to Chattanooga where she attended Chattanooga State and earned a contractor’s license.
In 2001, she married Dr. David Fridell, with whom she built Fridell Homes into a multi-million dollar operation. The husband-wife team also pastors The Oasis Revival Center and have a weekly television program that airs in the Chattanooga market.
“I love to work. I enjoy people and I enjoy all of the things that the Lord has blessed me to do,” Fridell said.
As she addressed an audience that included many students seeking their GEDs, she said, “Don’t let (the GED) be a place for you to stop. Take you education to another level.”
The GEDD Award was conceived by a group of GNTC Adult Learning Center instructions: Brooks, Lisa McKinney and Spence Ramsey, and Wayne Minshew, former executive director of the Calhoun-Gordon Council for a Literate Community. It has become a model for other adult learning programs across the state.