It is never too late to be who you might have been.George Eliot
Recognizing Personal Achievement in Education
Called the “Learning Gets Better with Age Award,” the purpose of this award is to recognize individuals selected for their personal achievement, share their stories to inspire others to follow in their footsteps, and recognize that learning is both lifelong and not limited by age.
Against this backdrop, and as part of “National Employ Older Workers Week,” SSAI honors older adults who have transformed their employability with the “Learning Gets Better with Age Award”. They are Robert of Connecticut, Crystal of Wisconsin, and Darlene of Alabama.
Robert “Rick” said that he was “haunted” for forty years by not having graduated high school. “I have had a lot of jobs and whenever they asked me if I had a High School Diploma or GED, I always checked “yes.” No one ever asked to see my diploma, and I was constantly waiting for the ball to drop. I was tired of living a lie.”
Crystal was on the Title V/Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) operated by Interfaith Older Adult Programs in Milwaukee WI. She shared that when she first came to SCSEP at Interfaith, her self-esteem was quite low. “I didn’t think I could do anything.”
Darlene was in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) when she decided to get her high school equivalency. She saw a job notice at a warehouse for a Forklift Operator position. She thought, “I would love that.” But when she read the job description, she saw that applicants had to have either a high school diploma or equivalency. She said that she went directly to Thelma Matthews, former SCSEP Project Director for Goodwill Easter Seals and said, “This is not going to happen to me again. Enroll me, Thelma.”