During the spring of ’10, we got a student who needed help with his reading and writing in order to pass the GED. I’ll call him ‘Gary’. Gary suffers from schizophrenia and had to drop out of high school because he couldn’t concentrate in classes. He had passed all the subjects of his GED except Language Arts Literature and Language Arts Writing. We tutored Gary for several months and he passed the entire GED and received his certificate.
In the fall, Gary won the Literacy Council’s annual Kay Scriptunas Memorial Scholarship of $643 for our students who are pursuing post-secondary education or training opportunities. He is eligible for support because of his disability, but he was afraid to try college because of his failure in high school. Since we supplied funding for only one class Gary thought he would give it a try. He enrolled in a math class at the Gettysburg Campus of HACC for the spring semester.
I’m pleased to report that Gary got an A in math. Presently he is enrolling in three classes for the fall. I was talking to him the other day and he told me, “You know I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for your help.”
For many of our students success is defined in small increments that add up to improved lives and fulfilled dreams. We have an ESL student I’ll call ‘Maria’ who has been working with us for over two years now. She makes consistent gains in her English; it gets better and better. Since she came to us She told me her English has helped. Her future goals are a college degree perhaps, but in the meantime she keeps plugging away.
Maria meets her tutor regularly and they keep in touch whenever either one gets too busy and has to skip a week or two. Right now Maria is visiting her family in Mexico. When she returns she will pick up where she left off. Maria has a daughter, Dora, who will be attending the Vida Charter School as a kindergartner this fall. Her tutor is very pleased at how well Dora is doing in her pre-school. Maria’s English skills are good enough that she has been able to be a strong advocate for her daughter. We are very proud of both of them