New lease on life for local residents

For many Louisa County families, September brings back-to-school excitement.  For a few others, there was a different kind of excitement – reflecting on their hard work, with degree in hand, at the successful end of the GED course of instruction.

Bob Falkenbach congratulates Calvin Sessler, left, who received his high school diploma after successfully passing the GED preparation course.  Falkenbach tutored Sessler from October 2010, until this past June.

Bob Falkenbach congratulates Calvin Sessler, left, who received his high school diploma after successfully passing the GED preparation course. Falkenbach tutored Sessler from October 2010, until this past June.

Five Louisa residents earned their high school diplomas this year with the help of Adult Community Education (ACE) tutors and the ACE GED preparation course.  They will be recognized at a GED Graduation in Charlottesville on Oct. 29.

With 13 others currently in the ACE GED preparation course, the recent graduates may soon have more company.

“It’s a great source of personal pride,” Calvin Sessler, who completed his GED in May, said.  “It took a long time and the course was not easy.  It took a lot of hard work – not so much because I wasn’t smart enough, but because my educational background was not very good.”

According to the ACE website, one in six adult Louisa residents lacks a high school diploma.  Sessler’s newly acquired diploma “hopefully…will help me find a higher paying job with more responsibility,” Sessler said.  “It is tough to get a good position without a high school diploma.”

Jennifer Conrad had been out of school for 20 years.

“It was hard to find a job,” she said.  “One of the first questions is, ‘Do you have a high school diploma?’  You’re more likely to not get hired because you don’t have this qualification.”

The community has been generous with ACE.  In 2013, ACE has received $33,700 in grants and funding, including $7,500 from the Virginia Literacy Foundation; $7,200 from Louisa County; $5,000 each from Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band, Dollar General and Louisa County Community Fund; $2,000 from Wells Fargo; and $1,000 each from Dominion and the W.A. Cooke Foundation.

To read the entire story, see the Oct. 3 edition of The Central Virginian.

By tcvnews
Posted on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 4:34 pm