By Yvonne Voulgaris
There is no static profile for students who come to PTP Adult Learning and Employment Programs. Some students know exactly what path they’d like to follow; others have a general idea that they want to improve their skills but are not yet sure to what end. Simone Morrison, Program Manager at PTP East, often says, “We meet students where they are.” This mandate allows for flexibility and offers peace of mind to students, regardless of whether they feel the need to slow things down or speed things up during this leg of their journey.
Steven Trussler is one such student. Like many successful people who learn to use the tools at their disposal, he is enrolled in both the Literacy and Basic Skills upgrading program, as well as PTP’s newly acquired GED Achievement® Program, which is conveniently offered in the same space as the LBS program.
Time away from formal education has given Steven a new perspective about the concept of it, seeing it now “as something that I need to further my goals in life rather than something that I should rebel against.”
It is not uncommon for some adults to arrive on PTP’s doorstep with a rebellious attitude towards education based on their subjective experiences, reluctantly accepting it as a necessary step towards something different. Ironically, a frequent commonality amongst students is truly just how many varied, sometimes difficult, life paths have led them to attend school and upgrading programs as adults. Adult education carries different connotations for everyone.
And Steven has embraced it. Having previously completed his formal education up to grade 11, his support system includes family and friends who want to see him succeed, lovingly “breathing down [his] neck” to get his GED. These caring and thoughtful nudges have led him to step up his educational game.
He works diligently to finish assignments and continues to strive for academic success. Between classes and assignments, he can be found completely engrossed in a novel, which has undoubtedly contributed to his ability to answer questions involving definitions during vocabulary lessons. He is eager to complete extra work, always looking to be challenged.
He has improved quickly in his time at PTP. His recent practice test for GED indicates that achieving his goal is imminent. He plans to write his final test this summer, hopefully finally fulfilling another wrung on the ladder towards his goals.
Steven’s plan is to enter college and one day own his own business. “I’m hoping to one day own and operate a restaurant or bakery.” Conveniently, PTP also offers special programming two afternoons a week, one of which is classes for Food Handler Certification. This may even lead Steven back to PTP in the future. The other special programming includes Computer Skills for Job Search, Readiness for Learning, and a Pre-Entrance Preparation class, which is an early stepping stone for people who may have a touch farther to go before achieving GED success.
Steven feels that attending LBS and GED Achievement® Program classes simultaneously at PTP have helped him prepare for his final test.
When asked what advice he could offer to prospective students teetering on the idea of whether to continue their education, he puts it simply:
“Advice I would give is to just go and get it done. Don’t make excuses as to why you can’t and just do it.”
Excellent advice, Steven.
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