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Ayla: Asking for help was the best decision I made

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Ayla was a twenty-eight year old mother, out of school, and without a job.  She was working with Julie Mazzariello, her Reach Up Case Manager at Economic Services, when a spark to do some personal work to build a better life ignited and started to blaze. Ayla was then connected with Merry Laird, a VAL

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Mike: VAL helped me set goals for myself

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“Mike is that star student we all want on our rosters,” said VAL teacher Joy Gaine. “Homework? Done. Appointments? On time. Hard-working? You bet! Even with a full time job and a house full of kids….he is determined and nothing will stop him from reaching his goals.” Mike dropped out of high school in 2004.

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Lydia: I was never afraid to ask a question

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Lydia is a young person with one of those infectious smiles.  Her outgoing personality has served her well in customer oriented jobs—as a dishwasher, barista, bartender and, now, as a counter person at the deli and market in Grafton, Vermont.  Lydia is also a newly-minted high school graduate. “I love working there,” Lydia said.  “It’s

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Energy Works Job Training: Next class starts January 10th in Rutland

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Trevor Arthur, a 39-year-old Rutland resident is excited. After completing Vermont Adult Learning’s (VAL) Energy Works workforce development training, he quickly landed a job as a Weatherization Crew member. Trevor’s last job was in hospitality, cleaning guest rooms and working the front desk at a hotel. He took time off to address health issues. He

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Garcia’s Bistro: VAL Student Opens Restaurant

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There’s a new restaurant in northern Vermont and a VAL student is the owner. Yesica Garcia opened Garcia’s Bistro in November on Main Street in Enosburg Falls. Yesica, grew up in Jicarito, Honduras. She moved to Vermont in 2018 to join her family.  She is the mother of three young adult children who are students

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Volunteer Profile: Janet Whatley

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Janet Whatley, a VAL volunteer, retired after many years as a professor at the University of Vermont. She earned her Ph.D. in French, and taught courses in French Language and Literature and the Humanities. She spent the early years of her retirement interpreting and translating for Congolese refugees before teaching at VAL. She’s helped New

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VAL Student Walks for VAL

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Laurentia Batchelder of Springfield, Vermont is on a mission. She is a student at Vermont Adult Learning and is taking it upon herself to organize a personal, Thanksgiving Day Walkathon, to raise awareness and funds for the nonprofit. “I am  so excited to be able to walk for Vermont Adult Learning. They have done so

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Student Writing: If I Were…

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If I were an animal I would be a whale, calm and lonely, floating through years of cold and all consuming water. I would be a whale moving slowly, but yet peacefully.  If I were a car I would be an old model with shiny new paint. Perhaps deceiving to the eye in brightness and

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Paco: Farm Manager, Poet and ELL Student

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Paco carries a small black notebook, ready to capture his poetic musings. Trained as an accountant, he attended university in Mexico and worked in a bank for thirteen years before arriving in the United States.  Paco cultivates his poet’s zest for beautiful words while managing a Vermont dairy farm.  He is earning money to pay

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Energy Works: Sign up for free training starting October 18th

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Vermont Adult Learning (VAL) is recruiting participants, ages 18 and older, for its next three-week weatherization training session starting Monday, October 18th in Rutland. Contact Jeff Nerney at [email protected] or call (802)779-0057 for more information or to sign up. VAL launched Energy Works, a Workforce Training program benefiting low-income Vermonters while aligning with objectives of Vermont’s

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