Who Inspires You? Richard McKay

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
Richard McKay

Richard McKay says he’s been having conversations with his mirror over the years, and it has helped motivate him to earn a high school diploma so he can pursue a college degree in landscape design.

McKay, 65, of Penn Yan, says the man in his mirror tells him, “You can be a better person today than you were before.”

As about 25 family members and friends proudly watched, McKay acceptedhis diploma from Penn Yan Academy Principal David Pullen and Board of Education President Jeff Morehouse Feb. 16 at the Penn Yan Board of Education meeting.

He told Pullen, “This is just the start.”

The next day, he used one of his graduation gifts — a gift certificate to Longs’ Cards and Books — to purchase a book about gardening.

“I’m going to be pushing up daisies sooner or later, so I might as well learn how to grow them,” he joked.

After being on disability “for too many years,” McKay said he decided last year to pursue his GED. Then, as he worked with Literacy Volunteers, he realized he could work toward a Penn Yan Academy diploma through the New York State External Diploma program.

Earning the diploma required a little more rigorous work than a GED, he says, but he’s clearly proud of his accomplishment. “I’m doing more math than I ever thought I could.”

Who inspires you?

Drop us a line at: chroniclenews1@rochester.rr.com,  call 315-536-4422 or bring information about someone who inspires you to us at 138 Main St, Penn Yan. If possible, include a photo.