Ada recalls that her struggle to read began back in the first years of elementary school. Early childhood illnesses caused her to slip behind her classmates,and she continuously struggled to catch up with her peers before she finally left Bates High School at age 16. Ever since, her work life–at the Naval Academy Mess Hall and Athletic Department, and most recently (from 2004-2013) at Georgetown East Elementary has kept her busy. Yet Ada has successfully juggled the demands of family life and actively participated in community and volunteer activities, too.
Perhaps even more impressively, Ada has remained a lifelong learner. She earned a bookkeeping certificate from the OIC program in Annapolis, and over the last four decades made three attempts to complete her GED–only to have each training program cancelled due to a loss of funding or transportation assistance. Undeterred, in 2012 Ada enrolled in the Anne Arundel Community College GED prep program at Stanton Center. She recognized the need to improve her reading skills, and contacted AACLC when she saw a flyer posted at the center.
“As for me,” says Ada’s tutor, Matt, Walsh, “I have a banking and real estate background and am in my second year volunteering with the AACLC. After many years of work-related travel, I had been looking forward to ‘staying put’ and contributing to our community. I tell friends that I never made it past the ‘A’s’ when searching a volunteering website; when I read the description of the work accomplished by the AACLC, I contacted Lisa right away to sign up for training.
“Despite our thorough tutor training sessions, nothing could have prepared me for the joy I find in learning with students like Ada. She always works ahead in our Laubach book, and often brings in GED prep assignments for review and discussion. While she remains modest and good-humored, her confidence is growing as she closes in on her long-sought GED. Simply put, it is a great honor to read with Ada and to call her my friend.”