Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Grad took long road but made it

BROOKSVILLE — Alex Fredericks will take a huge step out of his past and into his future tonight during the Hernando County school district's adult education graduation.

Fredericks, 22, will accept his high school diploma after passing General Educational Development tests in language arts, writing, reading, social studies, science and mathematics.

As a youngster, Fredericks went to private school until his mother could no longer afford it. Her plan was to homeschool him. But, he said, "I was rebellious and fell behind."

That was when Alex was in fourth grade.

His environment, he said, wasn't ideal, and he spent a lot of his time "playing with computers and hanging out."

As an 18-year-old, he did some "tree work here and there," but became addicted to prescription drugs. He eventually turned to crime, stealing.

"I was arrested," he said.

Fredericks was in jail for a couple of weeks when his mother, Desiree Alexander, posted bail and tried to get him help. They were directed to the Jericho Road Ministries shelter and were put in contact with the Rev. Fred Parker.

"By all rights, he should be in jail right now," Parker said of Fredericks.

But, Fredericks said, "By some act of divine intervention, I got probation, and as soon as I pay off my work fines, I'll be out. I'm working for the ministry now."

With the GED under his belt, Fredericks plans to attend Pasco-Hernando Community College in the fall. He's not sure what he wants to study, but is considering human services "to spread the message that there's still hope if you mess up," he said.

"Just trust in the Lord, put your nose to the grindstone and you'll get through it," Fredericks said he has learned.

Parker is impressed with the young man's progress.

"Alex has been one of our exceptional students and has excelled," he said.

Fredericks appreciates how his mother has stood by him through all of his troubles.

"My mom has been nothing but supportive," he said.

Fredericks was recently honored at a HEART Literacy luncheon, receiving a certificate of achievement for his academic accomplishments during a short period of time.

>>if you go

Graduation tonight

Adult education graduation begins at 7:30 p.m. today at the Hernando High School Performing Arts Center, 700 Bell Ave., Brooksville. Sixty-three graduates will participate. A total of 256 students earned their diplomas through the General Educational Development program during the past school year in Hernando County.

Grad took long road but made it 05/30/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 6:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays journal: Homer-happiness returns against Blue Jays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays are back to hitting home runs, which was the norm of the offense for much of the season before the offense went cold.

    Adeiny Hechavarria greets teammate Kevin Kiermaier after his home run during the third inning at the Trop.
  2. Jones: Stop talking and start building a new Rays stadium

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was good to see Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred at Tropicana Field on Wednesday, talking Rays baseball and the hope for a new stadium somewhere in Tampa Bay.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred is popular with the media on a visit to Tropicana Field.
  3. Ousted to political Siberia by Corcoran, Kathleen Peters sets sights on Pinellas Commission

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The perks of power in Tallahassee are a coveted chairmanship, a Capitol office in a prime location and a prominent seat on the House floor. Now Rep. Kathleen Peters has lost all three, but here's the twist: Her trip to "Siberia" might actually help her reach the next step on the Tampa Bay political …

    Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena, has been relegated to the back row in the State House chamber, moved to a fouth floor office and stripped of her job as chairwoman of a House subcommittee after a series of disagreements with House Speaker Richard Corcoran. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. What do kids need to stay away from deadly auto theft epidemic?

    Public Safety

    ST. PETERSBURG — More than a dozen black teenagers told U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist on Wednesday that children need stronger mentors and youth programs to steer clear of the auto theft epidemic plaguing Pinellas County.

    Congressman Charlie Crist (center) listens as Shenyah Ruth (right), a junior at Northeast High School, talks during Wednesday's youth roundtable meeting with community leaders and kids. They met to discuss the ongoing car theft epidemic among Pinellas youth and how law enforcement, elected officials, and community organizations can work together to put an end to this dangerous trend. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  5. Manhattan Casino choice causes political headache for Kriseman

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Days before the mayoral primary, Mayor Rick Kriseman's decision to let a Floribbean restaurant open in Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino has caused political angst within the voting bloc he can least afford to lose: the black community.

    Last week Mayor Rick Kriseman chose a Floribbean restaurant concept to fill Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino. But that decision, made days before next week's mayoral primary, has turned into a political headache for the mayor. Many residents want to see the building's next tenant better reflect its cultural significance in the black community. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]