(L to R) Magaen Bates, Owen “Parker” Bates, Lily Grace Bates, and George Bates. Photo courtesy of Magaen Bates.

It’s not every day you hear of an entire family of ABAC students. Magaen Bates, an ABAC graduate, has a family composed of non-traditional, traditional, and dual-enrollment ABAC students.

Her husband, George Bates, is a determined full-time worker and non-traditional student. After the loss of their son, Lottyn, George was inspired to attend college. “The fact that he had ABAC in our local community has been amazing,” Magean explained.

Her son, Parker, is a traditional student at ABAC, who will be graduating this Spring. He started his career at ABAC through dual enrollment and chose to get his associate’s degree here as well. This summer, he will be moving to Colorado to pursue his bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering.

Her daughter, Lily Grace, is currently a high school student, attending ABAC through dual enrollment. After two semesters of dual-enrollment and graduation, she will be pursuing Sociology at UNG.

Much like everyone at ABAC, Magaen’s family has experienced trials due to COVID-19. For George, the changes have been mostly positive. According to Magaen, “He works full time, so [hybrid/online classes] have been beneficial for him.”

For Parker, however, the transition from in-person to online classes has had a negative effect. His pre-engineering track requires higher-level classes, which are more difficult to do online. “His chemistry labs [and] math classes have been online,” Magaen said which are what have caused him trouble. Due to this, he chose to reevaluate his major concentration. Parker started with a pre-engineering concentration but chose to look at options to graduate early so that he could take a break during COVID.

When it comes to dual-enrollment, Lily Grace has been doing good throughout COVID. She says, “…it makes me feel more prepared for when I leave [for] college…” Her mom is also grateful for the dual-enrollment option, because, “it eases them into the college experience and allows a support system [family] to help… at no cost to our family.”

Above all else, they want to thank their ABAC staff for their support. In particular, Lisa Pryor, Dr. Pertilla, and Dr. Hall, who have made a huge difference in their progress.

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