Many reasons to get GED: One young woman finds circus more appealing, but gets certificate as well

October 19, 2009

By MacKenzie Issler, Greenfield Recorder – GREENFIELD — When she was 16, Fiona Lowry left the high school she was attending so she could pursue her passion in trapeze art.

Lowry, now 17, was home-schooled for many years when she was younger and then went to the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School when she was in middle school and continued there into high school.

Lowry, of Sunderland, has been doing circus arts on and off since she was 9 years old and, in the last three years, has gotten more serious about her hobby, including taking private lessons.

“I was hooked,” she said, after going to classes for the first time.

After leaving PVPA, she was home-schooled for another year and then started a year-long program at the New England Center for Circus Arts in Brattleboro, Vt., in September so she could follow the hobby that she describes as simply “so much fun.”

But, that didn’t mean education was no longer a priority for her.

Lowry decided to study for the General Educational Development (GED) test on her own and passed the exam this August. Now, she plans to go to college.

She said her parents were supportive.

“They really liked the idea of maintaining my education and graduating and doing circus arts, which I am passionate about,” she said.

Lowry joined about 50 other graduates on Thursday night at the GED graduation at Greenfield Community College.