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“I can read things in my mail. I can understand a bill, something my kids used to help me with.”

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Posted on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, at 2:34 PM


Lisa worked for over 20 years as a nurse’s aide in Chittenden County.  She was employed at Starr Farm Nursing Center for many years, rising to a coordinator position.

“I loved my job,” Lisa said.  “I loved working with the elderly.”

Lisa attended high school in South Burlington.  She experienced learning disabilities and, although a few teachers tried to help her, there was no federal mandate to provide special education services at that time.  Learning to read presented a significant stumbling block.  Lisa became pregnant and left high school.  Her life became busy and full between working and raising two children.  Two decades as a nurse’s aide took its toll:  Lisa was injured and placed on disability.

“I was sitting at home.  I knew I needed to do something,” Lisa said.  “I decided to check out Vermont Adult Learning.  It was hard at first.  I was the oldest student in the classes.”

Lisa persevered.  She started out as an Adult Basic Education student, learning to read with fluency for the first time in her life.  She advanced to the High School Completion Program.

“The teachers—Elaine, Krissy, and Meg—they all had smiles on their faces.  They were patient and helped me out a lot,” Lisa said.  “Haley (Academic Advisor), she kept me going.  She listened to me.  She helped me choose classes and she’d say, ‘You can do it.’”

Reflecting on her time at Vermont Adult Learning, Lisa said she is most proud of her reading.

“I can read things in my mail.  I can understand a bill, something my kids used to help me with,” Lisa said.

“People should know the staff at Vermont Adult Learning is very friendly.  It’s clear they enjoy their work,” Lisa said.  “They’re there for you and will call you up if you need encouragement.”

Congratulations to Lisa who earned her high school diploma as a member of the Class of 2020!

© Vermont Adult Learning

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