Al is a sweet and hard-working student who enrolled in the AL program in late 2019 to study for his GED. Despite having mental health challenges, he has been able to juggle multiple obligations while working with us: attending classes in A-B Tech’s Transitional Studies program, working a part-time job, studying for the Language Arts portion of the GED, working closely with his peer support team, and learning to live as part of a larger community at his group home.
Al’s group home went on lockdown in the spring of 2020, but he really wanted to keep studying. So we made an arrangement to keep him on track: Rebecca delivered worksheets to his group home mailbox and every week brought more. Al probably completed about 100 pages of grammar, spelling, and mechanics exercises. When the Literacy Council was ready to being online sessions and he was matched with a new tutor, he was more confident and focused and moved quickly through the textbook. He has now moved up to the next literacy level and is working with a second tutor to prepare for the math GED test!
Al’s mental health challenges make it difficult for him to communicate about and understand abstract concepts, so seeing concrete indicators of his progress — finishing worksheets, completing more chapters in his text, scoring higher on his test, taking on a second GED subject — are points of great pride.
Last week his peer support team threw him a surprise party at a local park. Because he has demonstrated growth, independence, and responsibility on so many levels, Al was able to “graduate” from his intensive peer support program. He was delighted. It was an emotional moment for all of us to help him celebrate his achievements: to be more self-sufficient; to be trusted and respected; to be loved and appreciated; and to know that all his hard work has been worth it.