Hannah is a proud mother of two young children. She works full-time at the day care that her children attend. She is fiercely independent; life required this of Hannah. She grew up in a home without a lot of parental support. She requested and became an Emancipated Minor at age 16. The judge granted her petition with the requirement that she earn her high school diploma.
Hannah began working with Amy Cowan, High School Completion Plan Manager at Vermont Adult Learning’s Franklin-Grand Isle Learning Center. Hannah was expecting her first child while working three part-time jobs at a campground, convenience story and creemee stand. She was determined to achieve her goal.
“Amy helped me navigate the easiest ways for me to get my diploma,” Hannah said. “I knew what I wanted. I just wasn’t sure about the best way to get there.”
Hannah mapped out a plan to complete most of her coursework online. Flexibility was key: she needed to earn income to support herself. Her favorite class was Driver’s Education, a much-needed skill in a rural county with limited public transportation.
“No one in my family ever graduated from high school,” Hannah said. “I was really motivated because I wanted to be able to give my children a better start in life. Amy was willing to help me in any way possible. Vermont Adult Learning (VAL) was not like the awful, clicquey high school experience.”
“I always say that the VAL experience is what you make of it,” Amy said, as she reflected on her work. “Hannah embraced that and came to us full of ideas and goals. We were able to connect her with learning opportunities in the community of which she took full advantage She did all the hard work; we just made it easy because it fit into her life and aligned it with the goals she had for herself. Hannah is fierce. She knows what she believes in and what she wants. She has high expectations for herself and others. Her story is one of resilience, passion and continued growth. Every day I am reminded of how proud I am of all that she has achieved.”
Hannah graduated, on time, in 2018.