GTCC's tutoring center serves as driving force behind 56-year-old earning 2 degrees

Published on: March 17, 2022
Lawrence Freeman portrait
Fifty-six-year-old Lawrence Freeman says the value of GTCC Tutoring Center can never be overestimated.

Lawrence Freeman may understand the value of Guilford Technical Community College's Tutoring Center more than most.

He has a pair of associate degrees from GTCC, one in applied science, the other an Associate in Arts. Without a consistent use of the GTCC Tutoring Center, he says, he probably wouldn't have either degree.

"Tutoring was 100 percent important to me. It was a big deal," Freeman said. "I didn't think I was going to pass and graduate, but I had excellent, excellent tutoring. I got so much help from the tutors."

Freeman is originally from Monrovia, Liberia in West Africa. He came to the United States in 1986 when he was 18, settling in Chicago before moving to High Point in 2015. Along the way he battled mental health issues, issues that diminished greatly when he started seeing new doctors after his move to High Point.

"I struggled with mental health problems for almost 40 years, but in 2015 when I moved to High Point, I started seeing a new doctor. He worked with my medications and helped me a great deal," the 56-year-old Freeman said.

It wasn't long before Freeman began his journey at GTCC.

"When I came in to GTCC, I was nervous and embarrassed," Freeman said. "But because of the atmosphere of the faculty and students, I felt comfortable. They were very welcoming, and, after a while, I started getting involved and adapted and adjusted. It was very, very excellent."

Freeman thrived. He became a student senator at the High Point campus. He made the dean's list twice, the president's list once, and began a work-study job in the Center for Academic Engagement. "My job was to the help students navigate through any questions they may have to help them get the answer," Freeman said.

Freeman had a strict regimen of studying that he followed diligently — early to bed and early to rise.

"I get up at 4 a.m. and study. It was my quiet time. My brain was well-rested. If I don't get up early, I can't focus. That was one of the things I learned that was very helpful," Freeman said.

Freeman says, hopefully, he will be able to move on to the UNC Greensboro or North Carolina A&T State University and earn a bachelor's degree in social work. But he won't forget the importance GTCC has played in his journey.

"I want to have an opportunity to come back to speak to students at GTCC about my struggle and how I made it. I want students to understand if I can do it, they can do it," he said. "I will always emphasize the tutoring and that it played a major role in my graduating. In my whole life, I never thought I would come this far. It has been shocking to me."

For more information on the tutoring services through the Center for Academic Engagement at GTCC, visit

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