Asked recently what I do for a living, I offered up that I teach the GED. “Oh, so you work with the drop-outs. The bad kids”, my questioner clarified. “NO!” I said emphatically. “That’s not who I work with at all.”
I work with Monica, a teenager forced to quit school to help with the financial burdens of her family. I work with Jose, a former gang member eager to turn his life around. I work with Emily, who made it to the last month of her senior year and couldn’t make up the days she missed when her grandfather passed away. I work with Molly and with Jennifer, moms who faithfully attend every therapy and doctor appointment of their special-needs children. And I work with Jermaine, a 2009 GED graduate of United Ministries, who is currently boosting his skills for the WorkKeys(R) exam so that he might gain a full-tuition scholarship for a program in manufacturing and CNC machining.
I could’ve said yes: I work with drop-outs and recovering drug addicts and single moms. Though all of these labels are true, they don’t do justice for my students. You see, regardless of their past or present challenges, my students are those that are committed to furthering their education.
–Hannah Ennis, WorkKeys Coordinator, United Ministries