Teresa Terrazas has been a VAL student since October 2019. She has been an extraordinarily dedicated student with regular attendance at VAL, and has received nearly 250 hours of instruction and other services to date. Teresa is working very hard to achieve her goal of graduation in June 2021 or shortly thereafter. She has completed several credits and is currently juggling several more courses, including Algebra, Physical Science, U.S. History, and American Literature.
In addition to her studies at VAL, Teresa cares full-time for her young daughter. She is currently unemployed due to the demands of motherhood and school. When she graduates, she plans to pursue a medical career, possibly in phlebotomy or medical/nursing assistance. She is committed to becoming financially independent and a leader in the community. Last month, she became interested in politics and voted for the first time. Teresa wrote an essay about her experiences with online learning during the pandemic, which was published in the most recent issue of The Change Agent, a publication that showcases the work of adult learners. This was a big honor! She also participated in an editorial meeting, along with other adult learners, to provide input into the next issue.
Teresa is recovering from an unimaginable tragedy, having lost her younger (second) child in an accident in the summer of 2019. This tragedy has resulted in very difficult legal proceedings in addition to, obviously, terrible grief. Teresa struggles with depression and anxiety every day, but does not let it get in the way of her academic efforts. She is an inspiring example of how to overcome hardship and loss.
In summary, Teresa is an outstanding student who has shown remarkable commitment, academic and personal growth, and resilience in the face of extreme personal challenges. She has a promising future ahead of her. We are proud of Teresa and happy to nominate her for the Outstanding Adult Learner award.
Written by Lori Carswell, Teacher, VT Adult Learning – Windsor County
*Coalition on Adult Basic Education