Our Women's Leadership Initiative invests in programs that support women's path to self-sufficiency. This is one of our favorite stories worth telling:
Betty had bounced along through life trying to get a foothold on a long-term job. She’d never been successful in traditional educational environments. Yet, she had a goal: get her GED!
Services provided through Washtenaw Community College offered help, but Betty needed still extra support. Through Washtenaw Literacy’s one-on-one tutoring, Betty found herself and developed learning strategies and study skills that will serve her for a lifetime. When initially assessed, her reading level was second grade.
Part of Betty’s backstory: Despite very low skills, she became indebted to a private for-profit school offering a nursing assistant certificate in California. After taking out loans and completing the programming (it is not possible she could have understood the lessons, yet she was passed), she learned that she could not get a license from the state unless she had a GED, a point that the private for-profit school neither made clear, nor was a GED required for admission to their program. Betty may have been able to evaluate this had her skills been adequate at the time she signed the loan agreements and tuition contracts.
Empowered by her success, she agreed to tell her story at our annual community luncheon. The experience was another stepping stone in Betty’s self-determination and sense of having beaten her own demons. In fact, by the end of the luncheon, she asked if she could give another speech next year to update people on her life and the changes she made. Not only did Betty get her GED, she also got a job.