CLARKSTON, GA – Georgia Piedmont Technical College is pleased to announce that adult education student Derick Wimbley of DeKalb County has been selected as one of eight state finalists for the Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education (EAGLE) program.

Wimbley was one of the first students at Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s Adult Education division who completed the newly- implemented Career Plus program. Wimbley enrolled in Spring of 2023 and earned his high school diploma and two college certificates by December of that year, exemplifying a commitment to education and personal growth.

Derick Wimbley
Derick Wimbley, GPTC’s 2024 EAGLE winner

The now 51-year-old Wimbley dropped out of high school at 17 years old, got married and had three children. He said he woke up one day -many years later- motivated to earn his high school diploma…and then some.

“My wife has an associate degree and is the co-owner of a personal chef and catering business, our oldest son has his master’s degree and is an officer in the U.S. Navy, our daughter has a bachelor degree and is a teacher and our younger son is the owner of a successful real estate investment company,” Wimbley said. “They were my inspiration.”

Wimbley’s path wasn’t an easy one because while enrolled in classes, he had to undergo painful spine surgery and physical therapy. But he pushed through and now has a high school diploma and two marketing-related certifications. He hopes to use his newly-gained knowledge to help promote his wife’s business. Wimbley plans on continuing his education at GPTC in pursuit of a degree in the information technology field.

“We could not be prouder of Derick,” said GPTC Vice President of Adult Education Dr. Meghan McBride. “He personifies commitment to improving one’s life and serves as an inspiration to students and staff alike. Derick is proof that it’s never to late to start forging a new path.”

Derick Wimbley will compete for the title of Georgia’s EAGLE Winner during the 2024 Dinah Culbreath Wayne EAGLE Leadership Institute, from March 25 to 27 in Atlanta. The EAGLE Program is administered by the Technical College System of Georgia’s Office of Adult Education (OAE).

The State EAGLE Winner, OAE’s Student of the Year, becomes the student ambassador for Georgia’s entire adult education program and receives a full two-year scholarship to the technical college of their choice.