International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Refugee-Focused GED Prep Program Begins With IRC Volunteer Bobby King

The IRC in Atlanta is proud to announce the reestablishment of its General Education Development (GED) preparation program for refugee clients. Volunteer Bobby King, the retired executive director of Refugee Family Services, is teaching the GED class at the IRC to assist refugees who need additional assistance with their English language skills to prepare them to successfully pass the GED test.

Bobby King teaching students in the GED prep class at the IRC
Photo by Christina Bowden

As a former public school teacher who turned his passions toward refugee resettlement, Mr. King had the perfect background and interests to jumpstart the IRC’s GED prep program. To enter the program, the clients must be proficient in English to fully understand the material covered, which includes reading, writing, literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies. Many young refugees have difficulty transitioning to the American school system and quickly get left behind. Also, many adult refugees may come from countries with limited or no formal educational opportunities available to them. The GED prep program assists refugees to improve their English skills and fill any academic gaps they may have experienced before or during their resettlement into the U.S. A particular focus is placed on science and social studies, due to their complex material and refugees lack of exposure to American history. Refugees who obtain a GED have better employment opportunities so they can obtain higher paying jobs to support their families.

The program initially started in 2010, with the combined efforts of Mr. King, the IRC in Atlanta, and volunteers from Emory University, and classes were taught by Mr. King in the evenings at Clarkston Community Center. With the help of Mr. King and Justin Howell, the IRC in Atlanta’s Education and Learning Manager, the GED program was added to the education and learning curriculum taught in the IRC office.

Currently, the GED class meets every Monday and Wednesday from 12 – 2pm and is taught by Mr. King with the support of IRC staff, interns and volunteers. The IRC in Atlanta plans to grow the program by implementing two new meeting times in March on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. This will give clients more one-on-one interaction with tutors who assist them in their specific areas of need. Additionally, clients have access to staff support and online prep materials in the IRC’s computer lab.

If you would like to become involved or have additional questions about the GED program at the IRC, please contact Justin Howell at or 678-636-8931.