On September 16, 2020

You’re never too old to learn

Dear Editor,

Lisa earned her high school diploma at age 59 this past June. Born in Vermont, her education was interrupted due to an unplanned pregnancy. Lisa spent 20 years working as a nurse’s aide and raising her two children before being sidelined by a career-ending back injury.

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

Sept. 19-26 is National Adult Education and Family Literacy week. Lisa’s story reminds us there are many talented and capable individuals among us who, for myriad reasons, lack a high school credential.

An estimated 42,000 Vermonters do not have a high school diploma or GED. These folks face more limited job opportunities and access to training programs or the ability to continue one’s studies at the college level; they are also the most likely to lose employment during an economic downturn. The Covid-19 pandemic reinforces the enhanced health vulnerabilities of folks of limited education and income.

Vermont Adult Learning, Central Vermont Adult Basic Education, Bennington Tutorial Center and Northeast Kingdom Adult Basic Education Services are here to serve Vermont residents, ages 16 and older.  We assist those seeking to earn a high school credential, learn English or prepare for a new job or continuing education. We’re also here for Vermonters who want to brush up on their reading, writing, math and computer skills. Our services are free. Learning is highly-individualized, tailored to students’ needs.

Lisa recognized that it’s never too late to learn.  Our passion to help students succeed drives our work. We are here to help, one aspiring student at a time. To find a program near you, visit: education.vermont.gov/student-learning/adult-education/local-services

Hal Cohen, executive director at Vermont Adult Learning

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Vermont values under ‘atax:’ Vermonters rally to challenge threat to food, water, shelter

June 19, 2024
Dear Editor, A broad cross section of Vermonters gathered in the State House cafeteria to express their displeasure with the direction the state’s political leadership is taking them. (And that was April 25; things have not improved since.) Feeling ignored or otherwise discounted and marginalized, and in some cases, even mocked, the diverse group chose…

Universal School Meals: Delivering for Vermont children, families and schools

June 19, 2024
By Teddy Waszazak Editor’s note: Teddy Waszazak is a resident of Barre and the Legislative Policy Lead at Hunger Free Vermont, a statewide advocacy and education nonprofit working to end hunger in Vermont. As another school year comes to a close, all of us in Vermont have two exciting milestones to celebrate: the start of…

VTSU should renew its commitment to diversity office

June 19, 2024
Dear Editor, In the summer of 2020, the nation watched 8 minutes and 46 seconds of video of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of a detained man named George Floyd until Floyd was asphyxiated to death. It was horrific, and Floyd was only one of several people of color who died at…

Scott was right to veto H.887

June 19, 2024
Dear Editor, Our state Legislature is meeting this week to vote on overriding Governor Scott’s vetoes of legislation introduced during the latest session. One of the bills for consideration is H. 887, the annual “yield bill,” which funds our public education system through property taxes. Governor Scott has rightly vetoed this bill because, according to…