Alexander Clay III is a young man with a dream. He wants to make and act in family friendly movies. To achieve his goal, he started planning ahead.
Having been homeschooled, Clay knew his first step was to earn his high school equivalency (HSE) diploma. The Wilson Adult Learning Center (ALC) offered him free preparatory classes to earn his HSE, which he did in October 2015.
His next stop was Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) - Lebanon. The new TCAT offered a program called Advanced Manufacturing, allowing Clay to obtain certification in up to four different areas: engineering, automotive, robotics and electrical. He hopes to finish the 18-month-long program early while obtaining certification in all four fields of study.
Clay plans to get a job when he completes the program, and his ultimate goal is earning enough to follow his dream of a career in filmmaking. He said that, in order to fully appreciate the final result, a little sweat equity is necessary.
"If you want a decent job with decent pay in today's society, a high school or HSE diploma is a necessity, not an option," he said. "If you don't have a high school diploma, get one."
He praised the ALC for its "great, wonderful teachers" and noted it was worth the time and effort required.
"I loved going there," he said of the ALC.
Located in Lebanon, the Wilson County ALC also offers evening classes in Mt. Juliet. In Lebanon, classes are available in the morning, afternoon and evening. Classes are free. With satisfactory scores, the state will pay for the HiSET (GED replacement test), which makes the process even less expensive. Tests are offered locally. To make an appointment, call (615) 443-8731.