Announcing Our Graduates!
Congratulations from Milwaukee Achiever!
Julius, Silver Spring Center GED Graduate
Julius had been out of school for almost 10 years before he decided to enroll at Milwaukee Achiever. He earned his GED in 6 months! He credits his fast-paced achievement to his commitment to studying and good attendance. He was initially referred to another adult literacy organization but by chance stopped by our Silver Spring Center and enjoyed the friendly atmosphere. Having a busy schedule, he appreciated the flexibility of our course schedule. He is currently in the process of applying to Cardinal Stritch University for an Associate of Science Degree, with a concentration in Business. He has worked many factory jobs and is excited to pursue a career “on the other side” from a management perspective. His advice to those pursuing their goal of obtaining their GED: “stick with it and make sure you study at home too.”
Ann, Silver Spring Center GED Graduate
Ann had been out of school for 36 years before she decided to enroll at Milwaukee Achiever. She earned her GED in 6 months! She had worked as a CNA for 14 years, and it started to take a toll on her her emotional and physical well-being. She knew that it was "now or never." She had passed Milwaukee Achiever so many times and one day decided to walk in and register. She felt welcomed by staff and other learners and appreciated that no one ever made her feel “stupid.” Her biggest obstacle was math. One of our volunteer tutors, George, worked with Ann and after a few months she felt more confident in her math skills. Now that she has earned her GED she plans to get a job in home inspection. Her son is working on his real estate license and they plan on working together. Her advice to individuals working towards earning their GED: “It will open more doors when you are job hunting. You need a diploma.”
Meet Some of Our Other Achievers!
Success stories from English Language Learning, Workforce Development, Citizenship & More
Adela, Scott Center Bilingual Medical Interpreter Program Graduate
Adela grew up in Mexico, attended the university, and practiced law before moving to the United States with her husband and two children. Her family was looking for a better life, but she soon discovered that she couldn’t find a job…she couldn’t speak English. She wanted to prepare herself for the job market, and Milwaukee Achiever’s one-on-one tutoring appealed to her. She studied English with “her special angel”, Sister Marie Le Clerc, for 2-3 years, and then another opportunity came her way. Adela could use her Spanish and newly-acquired English skills by becoming a bilingual medical interpreter. She enrolled in the BMI program, successfully completed the classes, and was immediately hired for a full time position as an interpreter. Adela thanks Milwaukee Achiever and her teachers for helping her get to where she is today. “I am very happy and satisfied with my new career. I know how frustrating it is when you can’t understand the language, and now I help people communicate with their doctors so they can receive the best care possible.”
Kay, Silver Spring Center Mount Mary College in the Community Program Graduate
Kay’s life story begins like many, but unlike others, her story will have a different ending. After High School, Kay got married, had two children, and worked as a tailor for the next twelve years. She then moved to Milwaukee and got a job as a production worker at a local company. She gradually moved into different positions within the company, but “felt like she was stuck in a rut and not getting anywhere.” Her daughter told her about the Milwaukee Achiever Mount Mary College in the Community program, and suggested she sign up. Kay decided it was time to make a change and enrolled in the program.
It didn’t take long for Kay to realize she had made the right decision. She really enjoyed the people she met through the program; the instructors as well as fellow students. Soon after she started her second semester, Kay was laid off from her job and had to re-evaluate what she wanted to do next. Kay credits MMCIC with giving her hope, the confidence she could do the class work, and the support she needed to make a change. Her instructors taught her to “dream big” and stressed “it is never too late to change”.
Kay used her new computer skills in her job search and was hired after a third interview at $2.00/hour more than she was making at her previous job. Kay utilized her newly-learned skills on the job, and recently received an excellent performance review resulting in another $2.00/hour raise! Kay said, “I wouldn’t be where I am today without MMCIC, and I’m fortunate to be a part of it. MMCIC gave me the confidence to follow my dreams.” Kay is still dreaming, and she plans to start her own business in the near future. Her next class is “Introduction to Entrepreneurship”. How appropriate.
Rosa, Scott Center Citizenship Program Graduate
My final citizenship test was on January 3, 2011. I'd taken English language and citizenship lessons at Milwaukee Achiever for two years by then. I memorized 100 questions about United States history, government and important people. It took me a long time to prepare the application. I needed to find out the answers to the questions and to memorize the answers. When I found all the information and completed the form, I mailed the form. After a few weeks, I received a letter saying that they received the application and I'd receive another letter with the date, place and time to be finger-printed. Being finger-printed is the next step for citizenship. It took me 3 or 4 months to complete the entire process. On the day of the exam, they asked me a number of questions and I wrote sentences answering them. Finally, the immigration official told me that I passed. And I have a certificate to prove it!
Anna, Silver Spring Center GED Graduate
Moving to the United States from Poland was the hardest decision of my life. This decision was very hard for me because I knew that I would be very far away from my family and friends. The first few months were very difficult for me. I missed my loved ones and felt so lonely. I was twenty-one years old when I decided to move to the US. I think I was very young then to make such a big decision, but I was full of curiosity for a new country, new culture and life in a new place. Now I know that I made the right decision. If I had chosen differently, I probably would never have appreciated the value of family. Also, I would never have met people who have changed my perspectives about life. I have been able to pursue my dream of becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant and I plan to continue on to become an RNA.
Blanca, Silver Spring Center English Language Learner
My family was born in Colombia. My husband came to the United States five years ago. He had been working as a lawyer for the government when a difficult political situation caused him to leave our country. He studied English very hard, and also turned in papers for political asylum. When his request was granted, our daughter and I joined him here. Our time in the United States has been a life-changing experience for all of us. The different cultures, jobs and life-styles have had a big influence on all of us. One of the tougher challenges for us has been learning the language. My husband now works as a minority counselor in a local nonprofit. In my country, I worked in human resources; now I work for a graphics company. Both of us have studied English at Milwaukee Achiever Literacy Services.