This fall, A Stepping Stone Foundation had a bit of a hiccup for three mothers whose families had enrolled in our LEAF (Literacy Elevates Arizona Families) program located at the Bret Tarver Isaac Preschool teaching site in Phoenix. This program, as many readers will remember, is a five-point family literacy program which consists of preschool, adult literacy, parenting classes, inter-generational learning activities and home visiting. The hiccup occurred for these three mothers when the school district couldn’t find HSE (High School Equivalency) preparation classes for them.
Typically, the school district provides the courses onsite, but when all district avenues had been exhausted and we were informed they could not do so, two long-time Stepping Stone donors stepped in to pay the costs of GED online learning through Rio Salado Community College. The following report is the first of many about which I intend to blog.
I spent three mornings helping the moms enroll online. They obtained a Maricopa Community Colleges ID and password and I will accompanied them so they could present their picture ID’s in person at Rio Salado College in Tempe and then enrolled in the 14 online week class. Each mom must spend at least 4 hours on Friday mornings working on this coursework and have the option to work at home as well.
There was a bit a of a challenge getting connectivity (access to the internet). While all moms have at least a cell phone and/or an I-pad or similar, getting a reliable internet connection was challenging. In the end, we prevailed and they began classes on Monday, October 16th.
Up Close and Personal:
One mother in particular shared her story about how it is she came to have four children at a young age. She was raped as a sophomore in high school and then dropped out from the stigma. Today, the father of her children is a Mexican citizen and lives on the other side of the border and she sees him only rarely.
Her career goal is to become a doctor because she loves all things connected to the brain and brain development. She knows this will take many years, but remembers being very good in school and believes she can do it. The first step is to get her GED. She shared how passionate she was about learning everything she can. I shared with her that the road to be a physician can begin with a medical certificate in in something like hematology or becoming an registered nurse first.