Meet Tina, one of the 2021 NEDP Scholarship winners. Tina is a recent NEDP graduate from Peninsula Regional Education Program
(formerly Hampton City Schools), in Hampton, Virginia.
“The NEDP had a profound impact on my life, and my decision to continue my studies at Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) in Williamsburg, Virginia. I have been a hair stylist for years, and while I always knew that I wanted to return to school and obtain my high school diploma, I struggled to do so through the traditional GED program. I attempted to complete the GED program multiple times, but as an adult who had been out of school for years, I experienced great difficulty with the rigorous academic requirements. When I learned about the NEDP, it seemed like a natural fit, as I was able to use the skills I have gained from life and work experience to demonstrate my reading, writing, and math skills.
I was fortunate to learn about a local program called Literacy for Life, which offers one-on-one tutoring for adults who are pursuing a high school completion program. My experience at Literacy for Life was wonderful, as all of my tutors were incredibly encouraging and supportive. They helped me push through obstacles in a caring and compassionate manner, and worked with me at a pace that felt comfortable. This was particularly important to me, as I sustained both a mild brain injury and a number of physical impairments as a result of a traumatic vehicle accident in 2018. My resilient nature, in combination with the kindness and expertise of my tutors, resulted in my successful completion of the NEDP in the fall of 2020.
The NEDP felt very practical, and taught me hands-on life skills that I can continue to use as a student at TNCC. I learned a great deal about organization and time management, which is essential for planning time to study and break down assignments into manageable chunks. I have wanted to obtain a college degree for years, and I enrolled at TNCC for the Spring 2021 semester. I am proud to say that I completed my first semester successfully, and that I plan to continue my studies. I have always wanted to help others and have a positive impact on my community, and this desire has only increased since my accident. I want to be available to help others who may have experienced a trauma themselves, and need help working their way back towards self-sufficiency. I knew that I would need a high school diploma in order to move forward with this goal. I am happy to say that the NEDP helped me achieve this step successfully. I am now working towards my Associate’s Degree in Human Services at TNCC, and hope to eventually counsel survivors of domestic violence and those who are struggling with substance abuse issues.
Without the NEDP program, I may not have found myself telling this story today. After having such a difficult experience in the traditional GED program, I questioned whether I would ever be able to achieve my educational goals. I am grateful for the NEDP and my tutors at Literacy for Life, for believing in my abilities and lighting the way forward. I look forward to being able to do the same for others in my community in the future.”
In 2020, Peninsula Regional Education Program interviewed Tina about the NEDP. CASAS developed the video Tina's NEDP Testimonial.
We wish you all the best in your efforts to earn a degree in Human Services to counsel domestic violence survivors. We know you will do great things at TNCC and beyond! Congratulations on winning an NEDP Scholarship.