Modesto program lauds 74 who took a different path with high school
BY JOHN HOLLAND, Modesto Bee
OCTOBER 19, 2019 03:26 PM, UPDATED OCTOBER 19, 2019 03:27 PM
See the article and watch the full interview video here: http://bit.ly/modbee19grad
Another 74 people now have High School Equivalency certificates thanks to LearningQuest of Modesto.
They received them at a Friday evening ceremony in the Modesto High School auditorium, borrowed for the occasion by the downtown-based program.
They spent about six months on studies that, for various reasons, they could not complete as teenagers. Three of them were recognized for exceptional work.
Jillian Cody, 37, of Oakdale received the Best Effort award. She was homeless off and on and addicted to methamphetamine before finding LearningQuest.
“It’s been a 20-year process of getting my (certificate),” Cody said before the ceremony. “I’m more on the right path now than I have ever been in my life.”
She plans to enroll next spring at Modesto Junior College and become a drug and alcohol counselor. She has a 10-year-old son, Cameron.
Heddi Jameson, 32, of Modesto won the Most Improved award. She had struggled for years in school, then found through LearningQuest that she has dysgraphia, which affects writing skills.
“I just wasn’t grasping writing and spelling,” Jameson said. She does have a knack for seeing how things work and would like to study mechanical engineering, especially robotics.
“I always loved mechanics, electronics, taking things apart,” she said.
Beverly Hardee, 29, of Modesto got the Greatest Achievement award and was the class valedictorian. She entered LearningQuest soon after becoming homeless with sons Sean, 11, and Ronnie, 8.
Hardee got the OK to nearly double her studies to 22 hours per week so she could finish faster. She now has a home and plans to study administration of justice at MJC. She is thinking of working in corrections.
LearningQuest presented its Extraordinary Volunteer award to John Comer, 87. He has tutored there for 19 years after retiring as a graphic artist at the Crown Zellerbach paper company.
The high school certificate program is one of several at LearningQuest, also known as Stanislaus Literacy Centers. Last year, it provided free or low-cost instruction to nearly 1,200 adults in reading, writing, math and English.
LearningQuest recently launched its first children’s program, for kids with dyslexia.
See the article and watch the interview video here: http://bit.ly/modbee19grad