BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - She is the first person adult education students see at Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College. Her goal that every student walks away with a GED starts with a simple smile.
"If they don't feel welcome then they won't come back. That's why it is important to have a smiling face and someone who is always encouraging to be on the front," says Director of Adult Education, Mary Ford.
Debbie Graven has worked with hundreds of students, but treats each as an individual. She hopes to get everyone out the door and into the real world.
"To see people doing better with their lives. The GED, you've got to have a high school diploma or a GED to get just about any kind of job," says Graven.
Graven's caring attitude goes beyond campus, with her work at the Lions Club.
"At any moment and time 24/7, 365 you could call District Governor Graven and she would be there at your side at a moments notice," says John Lewis, from the District 43 Lions Club.
Graven was the first District 43 female governor. Her work immediately began to make an impact. When a Franklin club was on the edge of dismantling, she stepped in.
"There was 6 of us that wanted to continue and Debbie committed her time to coming down and meeting with us twice a month, because of Debbie our club is back up to 39 members," says Frank Schwab.
The Lions Club is known for volunteer work, but the most touching moments for Graven come from their free eye screenings. The tests in children can reveal early lazy eye, and blindness, that otherwise go undetected.
"When they see for the first time, they do not know what they are missing because they have never seen before," says Graven.
For her dedication to every job she sets out, we honor Debbie Graven as this week's Hometown Hero.