2019 Learning Gets Better with Age Award


About the Award

More than a half-million Americans earn their high school equivalency diploma each year, but fewer than 20,000 (less than 3%) are 55 years or older.   This August, in conjunction with National Senior Citizens Day on August 21st, SSAI will award its second annual Learning Gets Better with Age Awards to three (3) to adults at least 55 years old who have earned a high school equivalency diploma/certificate at or after age 55.

Each selected award recipient will receive $1,000 in addition to a certificate and recognition on our website and social media channels.

The purposes of this award program are to honor older adults for their achievement in lifelong learning, including those individuals who are past or current participants in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), and to encourage older Americans to prepare for and earn their high school equivalency diploma/certificate.

Nominate Someone Today

Do you know someone who earned their high school equivalency when they were 55 or older? If yes, then nominate them for an SSAI “Learning Gets Better with Age” Award!

To be eligible for consideration for an award, a nominee must have been at least 55 years old when she/he earned the high school equivalency diploma/certificate.  Individuals may nominate themselves.

Nomination Process

  1. Download the nomination form: 2019 Learning with Age Nomination Form – final
  2. Complete the nomination form,  Make sure to collect the required documentation.
  3. Mail the completed nomination form with required documentation to Senior Service America, Inc., ATTN: Suzy Mead, 8403 Colesville Road, Suite 200, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Nomination Deadline

Nominations are due by 5 p.m. EDT on Monday, July 29, 2019. All packages must be postmarked by July 29, 2019.


Please contact our Help Desk at 301-578-8989 or by email at scsephelp@ssa-i.org.


It is never too late to be who you might have been.

George Eliot

Past Winners

2018 Learning Gets Better With Age Award Winner

Robert “Rick”

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.”

2018 Learning Gets Better With Age Award Winner


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.”

2018 Learning Gets Better With Age Award Winner


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.”