Amanda Fitzwater came to The Learning Center at the James V. Brown Library to get a GED -General Educational Development or the equivalent of a high school diploma - because she wanted to go to college and become a nurse.
She and her husband are from Williamsport and Amanda had to juggle the care of their two children with her job commitments; but she remained persistent in her desire to meet her goal of getting a GED and moving into post-secondary education and training.
"For some it is about a long-awaited personal goal set aside to raise a family. For some it is to obtain the education necessary to transition to post secondary education, or enter or advance in the workforce. For others, it is about making a better life for them and/or their families, and to make their families proud," explained Linda Herr, project manager of The Learning Center. "Despite the reason, adults are making the commitment to better their education here at The Learning Center."
Amanda Fitzwater, above, is one of the many making strides toward their dreams thanks to The Learning Center, one of the programs the Lycoming County?United Way helps fund with your donations.
Currently The Learning Center (TLC) provides basic literacy and other instruction in reading, writing and math in a classroom setting or through one-on-one tutoring.
Preparation for passing the GED or other high school equivalency tests is offered as well as English Language Learning for non-native speakers of the English language.
"TLC has helped me overcome my challenges in learning because the teachers worked closely with me, said Amanda. "They gave me plenty of one-to-one attention if I had trouble. They didn't give up on me - they are always encouraging students."
The Learning Center serves many students, including adults who do not read and write at a fifth grade level; parents who want to have the reading and writing skills to help their children in school; adults speaking other languages who want to learn English; people preparing for college entrance exams, GED exams or armed forces exams; and workers seeking to learn new on-the-job skills.
The Learning Center also offered good programming regarding parenting and family events. The programs taught us how to become better parents," added Amanda. "Book Club helped me to become a better reader and improve my vocabulary skills. Since being here, I have passed my GED. I have gained more confidence with myself in my academic and personal skills."
"Amanda attended regularly and was awarded student achiever of the month for the quality and quantity of work that she performed in the program, said Herr. "She recently applied to enter the WATCH (Work Attributes Toward Careers in Health) program to become a certified nursing assistant."
"TLC is a great program for people," Amanda concluded. "It has been very helpful and offers a wide range of services for people. It not only offers help with education, but also helps with personal issues, such as parenting. I wouldn't be the person I am today without The Learning Center."
Through its annual funds distribution process determined by community volunteers, United Way allocated $35,000 for TLC programs this year, helping to keep the center open after drastic government reductions in funding.
"The programs at The Learning Center make a significant difference in the lives of local adults who want to improve their life skills as well as their jobs skills. This is a win/win situation as it leads to better employment for the individual and a stronger workforce for out local employers. United Way programs are aimed at helping individuals improve their life standing and Amanda is yet another example of how the contributions received by United Way are being put to work in our community everyday to improve lives." said Scott N. Lowery, executive director for Lycoming County United Way. "We are happy to be able to provide funding to support TLC and these adult education programs."
For more information on TLC, call 326-0536 or visit jvbrown.edu or lycolearns.org.
For more information on Lycoming County United Way or to support the campaign that funds more than 40 human service programs like these, visit lcuw.org or call 323-9448.
Lycoming County United Way is also now on Facebook.