Adult education celebration at the Hall of Flags

Maine’s adult education students were honored at the State House last week. Those in attendance are from among a pool of over 50,000 adults enrolled in academic, workforce and personal enrichment courses and 1,523 received their school credential.

Adult Ed students at hall of flags
Adult education students from across the state are celebrated at the Hall of Flags

Among those speaking at the event was Jen Tancoto who received her high school completion through Augusta Adult Ed. She told the gathering about her experience with the adult ed team, “They gave me the opportunity to make something of myself.” In the fall of 2014, Jen started college at UMA and her GPA today is 3.5.

Araminta Mayberry graduated from Mechanic Falls Adult Education in 2011 and started college soon after. She told the gathering, “I was nervous about starting college, but I have a goal and that is to work in Human Resources.”

Mustafa Rashid holds a civil engineering degree from his school in Iraq, and he told the gathering he equates his adult education experience, “to that of a child learning how to take its first steps with a helping hand.”

Acting Education Commissioner Bill Beardsley along with State Director of Adult Education Gail Senese applauded the adult learners recognizing their determination and perseverance. Senese said, “Employers are looking to hire skilled workers and adult education has a direct correlation to one’s personal success in the workforce.”

Adult Ed
Adult education student Margaret Danese of Old Orchard (left) joins with Maine DOE Adult Education Specialist Kelley Heath

74-year-old Margaret Danese of Old Orchard is not involved in adult education with hopes of securing employment. Rather, she is trying to complete a mission. Margaret dropped out of high school when she lived in Rhode Island as a young teen. She said, “I got discouraged with high school. I gave it up, went back, and gave it up again many times.”  She went on about why she is pursuing her high school credential now, “I just want it for the satisfaction that I did it.” She claimed it may take her another ten years but she is sticking with it this time.