Amanda became a single mother working low paying jobs and barely managing, even after
When Zenaida first came to Genesis Center, she did not know she had a gift as a writer
Teresa, an immigrant from Mexico, had both a strong desire and a sincere need to learn English
Adult Learner of the Year
Faced with a variety of life circumstances, Megan Linzy suddenly found herself
Due to a variety of circumstances, I became a single parent working low paying jobs and barely managing, even after obtaining government assistance. I was without a high school diploma and had no higher education. There are not many options at this point for elevating yourself except to work at obtaining the credentials needed to get a better job and outlook on life.
I first came to HCC in 2015 and started with their online GED® study course. This was easiest for me since I could do it from home. After passing my GED® test I set my sights on higher education. I decided on the CMAA certification, certified medical administrative assistant. This is a noncredit program for busy adults. I was approved for a scholarship for this course and started immediately. After obtaining my GED® credential and completing my CMAA program I am happy to say that I am looking forward to my internship at Upper Chesapeake Hospital. This is where I hope to land my first job and continue up the line of promotion thru higher education.
I am also looking forward to showing my daughter a stronger, more independent role model. None of this would be possible without the adult education programs offered by Harford Community College. Without them there would be no hope for everyone who finds themselves without proper education later in life. Education is the key!
When Zenaida first came to Genesis Center, she didn’t know she had a gift. A talented writer, with a natural sense of rhythm and an imagistic mind, Z had gone 47 years without ever hearing anyone say, “You are intelligent,” or “You are a good writer.” But she is.
Through her writing, one discovers that there is quite a bit of depth to this woman—wisdom wrought from painful matters of having survived physical, sexual, and psychological abuse
Thanks to the flexible structure of the ESOL program for College and Career Readiness at Genesis Center, which affords the Learning Facilitator the freedom to tailor lessons to the individual needs of learners, as well as the time to offer office hours, Zenaida was given an ear. Having someone to listen, to encourage, and to challenge her, Zenaida blossomed.
Z’s appetite for learning seems to grow with every page she turns. The seed was planted when she read a short poem called “Imagine The Angels of Bread” by the great poet Martin Espada. The voice of the downtrodden rising up and becoming empowered to imagine feeding empty mouths with bread spoke to her.
Zenaida is still blossoming. Recently, she submitted a short story to a journal for publication. She has become a mentor to other students, who gather around her, asking for advice on their own writing. She has developed an educational plan, which includes going to community college, while volunteering at an organization that helps battered women. Above all, she has laid the foundation for being a productive member of society, one who contributes in many ways to the fabric of American culture.
ADULT LEARNER OF THE YEAR
Faced with a variety of life circumstances, Megan Linzy suddenly found herself as a middle-aged wife and mother without a high school credential, holding several part-time, night-shift jobs in an attempt to contribute to her family’s modest income. Undiagnosed in her formative years, Megan discovered in adulthood that she suffered from a profound case of dyslexia, creating a significant barrier to her learning ability. In addition, Megan suffers from diagnosed short-term memory loss.
Megan first entered the Eastern Iowa Community College’s high school equivalency program in 2010. After two failed attempts, she enrolled for her third attempt at the program in early 2013. She entered the program, performing at a 6th grade level in reading and math. At this point, it was her personal goal to graduate from high school with her son.
Upon her enrollment, Megan immediately began working with teachers, tutors, and program administrators to develop means of coping with and overcoming her learning barriers. She fully committed herself to her studies and to fighting her way to academic success. She juggled low-paying waitressing jobs with her school work, consuming all of her waking hours.
After just a few short months, Megan celebrated her victory over learning disabilities as she completed her GED® credential. She proudly walked the stage at graduation, realizing her goal of attaining her high school diploma the same year that her son graduated. She was not finished.
In fall 2013, Megan enrolled in her first credit classes at Scott Community College. Making a sound decision to begin with foundation-level coursework, she enrolled in math and writing courses to lay the groundwork for future success. As a first-generation college student, Megan joined Trio Support Services to take advantage of the additional resources available to her through that program. In recognition of her dedication and ability to overcome the most difficult of circumstances, Megan was offered a part-time job in the EICC adult education and literacy program as an evening assistant where she provides top-notch customer service and personal empathy to current students. Megan also volunteers her time to tutor adult education students who are struggling in their studies.
Megan made an early decision in her college career that she would like to give back to the field that was helping her dig her way out of her circumstantial hole. She set her sights on a degree in education, with an ultimate goal of teaching in the very program where she began her ascent.
As if her personal obstacles weren’t big enough, Megan’s mother is in the late stages of a battle with cancer. Megan is her mother’s primary caregiver and has added this responsibility to the list of potential distractions to her academic success. However, in the same winning spirit that she has demonstrated time and time again, she has figured out a way to manage this bitter and emotional piece of her life with amazing grace and fortitude without compromising her academic success.
During her time at Scott Community College, Megan has been recognized as an outstanding student by Trio and is a recipient of the college’s President’s Award. She has been asked to share her story with current students, the college board of trustees, and even at the state level. Her personal story is compelling and engaging, delivering a message of hope and confidence to students who suffer from any kind of self-doubt. She has demonstrated amazing personal tenacity in overcoming multiple obstacles to her academic progress and has done so with spectacular results.
In May 2017, Megan will graduate from SCC with an associate of arts degree with academic honors. She has been accepted into a bachelor of arts in education program at Upper Iowa University, which she will begin in the fall.
It is with great pride and confidence in her ability to overcome the most devastating of obstacles that I can say that I look forward to the day that Megan will join our program as a high school equivalency instructor. I believe that she is most deserving of the 2017 COABE Outstanding Learner of the Year award and I look forward to celebrating with her as she adds this accolade to her growing list of achievements.
Teresa, an immigrant from Mexico, had both a strong desire and a sincere need to learn English. However, as a mother of two growing children, she worked long hours at a laundromat where her ever-changing schedule made it impossible to attend classes regularly. She began working as a janitor for the Leander School District, but with such a hectic schedule and a long commute, she still could not attend classes regularly enough to enjoy any real progress with her English ability.
Cell-Ed, an over-the-phone English program, was offered to Teresa (and working parents just like her) through the non-profit Community Action of Texas, in partnership with the Leander SD. Cell-Ed is a multi-level, automated English course focusing on real-life dialogues, situations, phrases and grammar that is accessible 24 hours a day by any mobile phone. Teresa began studying immediately, citing that the self-paced, always-accessible course was exactly what she needed. She dove in head-first, completing lesson after lesson. She stated that the course felt as though it was designed just for her, covering topics that she could easily relate to. She even began encouraging people in her life to start learning English with Cell-Ed!
Leander School District made an offer to all the janitors that if they could attend one class per week and study regularly with Cell-Ed on their own time, their resume would be put at the top of the list for a lead staff position. Teresa nervously accepted the challenge and studied even more rigorously than before. In a short time she was interviewed (in all English) and was offered the job! Thanks to her determination and the always-accessible Cell-Ed, Teresa enjoys stable hours and higher pay.