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"They told me I was a winner!" - Celebrating our 2024 Grads

It was a very exciting Thursday at Literacy for Life last week, when we learned that not one but TWO long-time learners completed their GEDs!

Thomas and Ne'Tasha are models of persistence. Both first enrolled in 2018, only to have their progress interrupted by the pandemic. Throughout his GED journey, Thomas juggled two jobs and squeezed in meetings with tutors when he could. Similarly, Ne'Tasha balanced her work and family responsibilities with her studies, managing it all without the time-saving convenience of a car.

Both Thomas and Ne'Tasha benefited from multiple wonderful tutors over the years. (Thomas is pictured here with a previous tutor, Pat.) In the end, it was tutors Steve and Nancy who helped them over the finish line. Steve helped Thomas with his final two tests, Science and Social Studies. He met with Thomas at the library on Saturday mornings to accommodate Thomas's challenging work schedule. Meanwhile, Nancy helped Ne'Tasha with math. Because of Ne'Tasha's challenges with transportation, they met at a community center within walking distance of Ne'Tasha's apartment.

Ne'Tasha's enthusiasm for Literacy for Life jumps off the page. After passing her final GED test, she wrote to us, "At first I was real nervous, but Literacy for Life inspired me to get out of bed, work, do mommy duty, and get my priorities in check." She doubted herself at first, but remembers, "They told me I was a winner! My tutor Ms Nancy was really nice. She took her time with me and said, 'You're gonna pass this test! You got it!' It took lots of time, but I got through! I am so proud of the encouragements from my family, friends, and my children. I aced it!!"

Now that Thomas and Ne'Tasha have completed their GEDs, they are excited to take their next steps. Thomas will continue working with his tutor, Steve, to prepare for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). He plans to enlist in the Navy to pursue a trade that will transition back to the civilian world. No more juggling multiple jobs! Meanwhile, Ne'Tasha is meeting with LFL's career coach to choose a career pathway and enroll in college. Her long-term goal is to earn a master's degree.

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