Success means different things to different people. For some it is earning their GED and a better job; for others it is the self-esteem that comes with being able to read their very first bedtime story to their son or daughter. Whatever the definition, success is what we reach for at Project Learn.
Melinda Brandt, 34, AmeriCorps VISTA
Thinking that she had enough education to live on her own, Melinda Brandt dropped out of school when she was only in the 9th grade. However, she found herself in and out of juvenile detention centers for being truant and unruly. A few years later, she married against her mother’s will and it would be 10 years before she divorced. Once Melinda’s divorce was finalized, she found a new freedom and thirst for learning. In 2013, she earned her GED and set an example of strength and academic excellence for her children.
Currently, Melinda is an AmeriCorps VISTA for United Way of Summit County and Project Learn. One of her future goals includes graduating from Kent State Stark in Paralegal Studies.
Paris King, 26, GED Graduate
Paris King’s rocky childhood prevented her from finishing high school. However, in 2012, the determined 26-year-old began attending Project Learn’s 8-week GED Bootcamp course and soon earned her GED.
She then enrolled into The University of Akron where she is majoring in electrical engineering. With graduation near, Paris has proven that with hard work, dreams come true!
David Head, 50, sewer maintenance worker
David knew that before he can get promoted at the City of Akron, he needed to pass certain required tests that included algebra and fractions – subjects for which he definitely needed refresher courses. Project Learn helped him and other City employees improve their skills so that they could handle the increased demands that their jobs required.
Melissa Fickert, 37, receptionist
Melissa earned her GED at Project Learn's Barberton site... and changed her life. No longer feeling "judged," Melissa's renewed self-esteem landed her a job as a receptionist for a orthopedic surgeon, and she's considering a medical assistance course.
Lily Xie, 45, mother
Lily can take her daughters to the hospital and understand the doctor's orders, now that she has a grasp on English through Project Learn's English for Speakers of Other Languages class offered in Fairlawn. "Before I didn't know what the doctor said, but now I can make an appointment and understand what is going on and it feels good," she said.
Our goal is adult literacy and life-long learning, one person at a time. Our pride is success stories like Melinda, Paris, David, Melissa and Lily.