The NEDP expanded Maria’s horizons by introducing her to subjects she had never considered. Maria, not a native English speaker, was motivated to improve her reading and math skills. She attended every learning opportunity that her adult school offered. She was a steady and determined learner, completing all assignments in detail, studied and restudied, and asked questions when she did not understand.
Maria says, “I have more knowledge than before I started the program.” The research and analysis required in the NEDP taught Maria the value of hard work. It has enabled her to help others resolve some of their problems, informed her of the rights “I did not know I had” and critical information to keep her and her family healthy. “I now know the value of investigation and analysis before making important financial and health decisions. I have learned how to be safe during natural disasters and learned some basic first aid. Science was challenging for me, but now I know how scientists work. I learned that I have the right to vote and voted for the first time in the 2018 Virginia gubernatorial election. From now on, I will continue to exercise my right and duty to vote.”
Maria said that completing the NEDP has helped her to be more independent and confident. “I can now budget my money on my own instead of asking a friend. I can help my family with their bills and bank accounts and how to stay out of debt and understand paystubs. Now I am better able to help my children with their homework and can communicate better with their teachers. I can be more involved in their school as a result of my newfound confidence.”
Completing the NEDP raised Maria’s awareness of opportunities and her own desires surfaced. She will continue her education in college by studying nursing and computer science. The NEDP helped her realize that the marriage of these two seemingly different incompatible careers is, in fact, very compatible and necessary today and in the future.
Maria encouraged other clients to make completing NEDP a priority and to look at the difficulties they had as personal challenges to overcome. This determination is the same thing that made her successful in overcoming challenges she faced while completing the program. She also wants to be an inspiration for others who do not have a high school diploma and a role model to go to college.
When asked why she put so much time into earning her diploma, Maria responds, "Because I want to do better and I am learning so much.”
Maria, we applaud your resolve and motivation and wish you all the best in doing better and being a lifelong learner. We are proud to support your educational endeavors!