Pathways Adult Education Program will be able to help more adults earn their high school diploma or GED this year, thanks to a $3,000 grant from the Shiawassee Community Foundation.
The grant, which was presented to Pathways teachers Karen Wagner and Brenda Bridges on July 19, will cover the costs of GED testing as well as snacks prior to testing and refreshments for a spring awards ceremony for graduates. Pathways, which is located at Baker College in Owosso, offers a high school diploma program for those enrolled in Owosso or Corunna High Schools, as well as a high school equivalency (GED) program. Both programs are customized to each student, and students can complete the course at their own pace.
Grants like this one are important for the Pathways program because the required testing fees can be a deterrent for those wishing to pursue their GED. Many Pathways students are unemployed or employed at a minimum wage job, making the $174 fee a financial hardship. The SCF Board of Directors approved this grant to ensure that everyone who wants to achieve a high school education is able to do so, an objective that aligns with the Foundation’s mission of enriching the quality of life for people in Shiawassee County.
In addition to several teachers, Pathways also utilizes work study students from Baker College, such as Marley Bitz and Brian Edden. They assist the teachers by providing tutoring, proctoring GED tests, and helping the students with job readiness skills.
One student who attended the check presentation said she always wanted to get her GED but was never able to make it happen until she found the right place. “The teachers at Pathways are so encouraging, they make me want to learn. I haven’t missed a single day since I started here,” she said.
If you would like to support more community grants like this, consider contributing to the Shiawassee Community Foundation Unrestricted Fund today. Donations may be made in person or online at shiacf.org.
In the photo: (from left) Brenda Bridges, Karen Wagner, Marley Bitz, Brian Edden, and SCF Executive Director Carol Soule.