Student Spotlight: Jessica Fumando

September 15, 2017

Post image for Student Spotlight: Jessica Fumando
Student Jessia Fumando and tutor John Carley

Since April, John has been tutoring Jess twice a week at a local library. Despite juggling three jobs, Jess is committed to finding time for her academic studies. Although she has faced many difficulties while working towards her high school diploma, Jess stresses that “as long as you’re committed, it is possible.”

Jess’s childhood was difficult. “I grew up in foster care, in group homes, and was passed around for most of my school years” Jess explains. “My stability ended when I was thirteen, so school ended for me when I was around eleven or twelve years old.” When she became an adult, “School was not a priority” she explained. “When I was seventeen years old, I had my own apartment and I had to pay for it.  Work was my priority.”

In the following years, Jess moved several times. She eventually decided to get a high school diploma, so she signed up for a virtual classroom. She passed all of her classes, received her diploma, and was told by the school that she was a high school graduate.

When Jess moved to Maryland, she started classes at a local college. However, she soon realized that the school was not giving her all of the financial aid she expected. When she discussed the problem with college administrators, she received an unexpected shock. “They said the diploma that I brought to them was not accredited. I had to go get my GED in order to receive financial aid.”

Not discouraged, Jess set about studying for her GED. She began attending group GED classes but said that the teaching style and group environment did not work well for her. It was at this point that Jess reached out to the Anne Arundel Literacy Council.

Jess has enjoyed having John as a tutor, saying he is “great” and appreciates the individual attention she gets during one-on-one tutoring. “I can say specifically ‘I’m not understanding this.'” she explains. “Then he can break it down for me in a different way so I’m able to understand.”

-Written by Trevor Stern

Previous post:

Next post: