Adult Education and Family Literacy Week

9 months ago

Sept. 17-23 is a nationally recognized Adult Education & Family Literacy Week. Adult education has many components which offers our community an opportunity to grow and learn. Our goal for a pre-K-community education district is happening through many efforts of staff at RSU 29.  Adult education has offered opportunities to finish high school, prepare for college, find a career, skill build and learn today for a better tomorrow. This article was submitted by Adult Education teacher Lynn Brown to the Maine Adult Education Association in recognition of a student that has taken full advantage of what Houlton Hodgdon Adult & Community education has to offer.

In observance of Adult Education and Family Literacy week, Houlton Hodgdon Adult & Community Education located at the Houlton Higher Education Center has chosen to celebrate the success story of one of our students, Michael Sowards of Houlton. Michael, who is visually impaired, enrolled in the Houlton Hodgdon Adult and Community Education program where he received his high school equivalency diploma through the HiSet testing process (formerly GED).

Following this achievement, he received support through our College Transitions program and was able to take a free community college class. Michael had great success with this first class and HHACE assisted him in enrolling in Kennebec Community College. Connecting with The Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired also allowed Michael to receive assistance in technology so he could take online classes. Having now taken several classes, he is well on his way to being awarded an associates degree in business administration with a focus in Accounting. Michael has set high standards for himself, which has resulted in an impressive 4.0 GPA.

Michael comes to our school each morning while taking classes and also mentors other students, helping them with their math or other class work, and offers encouragement when needed. In addition, he is a whiz at technology and assists anyone (including the adults) who need help on their computers or other technological devices. Michael has also started doing bookkeeping for a local nonprofit.

Because of his visual impairment, Michael cannot drive and therefore rides his bicycle or walks to school each day. He has no real family other than his dog, Boston …. and us. He is an integral part of the community of learners we have created in our adult and community education program. Michael is our shining star!