Surrounded by family and friends, Shandy Brown, of Minford, accepted her High School Equivalency certificate as she graduated from the Aspire program on May 31, at the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center in New Boston.
Brown said she decided to enroll about a year ago, to further her education and change the course of her life. She also wanted to set a positive example for her children.
“It was amazing (attending the Aspire classes),” she said. “It feels surreal right now. I felts like it would never happen, but I worked hard for it.”
With newfound possibilities ahead of her, Brown said she would like to enlist in the police academy and serve the local community.
Formerly known as the Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) program, Aspire offers a variety of educational programs. Along with the High School Equivalency program, Aspire also offers a Bridge program for students who have already completed their high school diploma or High School Equivalency, but still need some remedial courses to transition to college. Bridge classes are offered at the Scioto County Career Center, in Lucasville, and Shawnee State University, in Portsmouth.
Through partnership with Scioto County Career Technical Center, Aspire also offers an Adult Diploma Program.
“The ADP is for people who do not have a high school diploma, but they do have to be age 22 or older to be accepted into this program,” Aspire Coordinator Paula Baumgardner said. “The Adult Diploma Program provides job training and a new pathway for adults to earn a high school diploma – not a High School Equivalency – and a certificate in a selected field through Scioto County CTC. They can walk away with two credentials.”
The Aspire program offers classes with flexible locations and hours to meet diverse needs, as well as services for workplace literacy, corrections education, and transition services.
For more information about the Aspire program, contact them at 740-354-0219, or visit one of their many locations – at the ESC in New Boston, the Scioto County Career Technical Center in Lucasville, or at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth. The program works around the student’s schedule and can be as quick or as long as the student needs to complete. Distance learning opportunities are also available for some programs, if the student is unable to travel. Day and evening classes are available, and all classes are free. The student only pays for the cost of the High School Equivalency test itself, and the Aspire program offers assistance with that fee.
For more information about the ESC or any of these programs, visit online at www.scoesc.org, or follow on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.