Boston, MA: Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education (MCAE) and the Webster Adult Education program are pleased to announce that Jessica Faford from the Webster program is this year's recipient of MCAE's Outstanding Student Award. This award is given each year to a student who has overcome difficult circumstances to pursue adult education. "I consider it a great privilege to recognize Jessica for her hard work and determination. She is making a great effort to achieve her educational goals, while also helping her peers," said Kenny Tamarkin, MCAE's Executive Director.
Jessica Faford registered with the Webster Adult Basic Education program for GED preparation classes in September 2007. She was able to attend 90% of her classes while also maintaining a full-time job and, as a single parent, raising a 3 year old child. Jessica was selected by an interview process to be a Student Leadership member of Webster's Participatory Health Team. Other students presently look to her as a living example and inspiration to their hopes and aspirations.
Jessica now volunteers her time to the program as a teacher's aide and peer tutor, assisting students with managing their responsibilities, including their daily work performance. Her next steps include applying to Quinsigamond Community College's Future Focus and volunteering her services to this year's Student Leadership Health Team, bringing to fruition the persistence and “never give up” attitude she displays.
"Jessica Faford's attitude and determination have touched my heart in so many ways. About the time Jessica would overcome one barrier, another one would creep up. Often times she came to school exhausted because she had not slept since she had completed her overnight work shift. She left our program a few times, but always returned with such a strong desire to obtain her GED and to create a good life for her son. Her leadership on the Student Health Team was transformational for our program and for the other students with whom she worked. Jessica has many opportunities ahead of her and she will capitalize on these with her sheer will, hard work, and excellence," said Terri Stone, Director of Webster Adult Education Program.
The Webster Adult Basic Education program offers educational pathways that will improve the quality of our students' lives in a safe, professional, and supportive learning environment. The program also strives to provide positive, effective, and motivational guidance to our students that will maximize their productivity as individuals, family members, community members, and employees.
MCAE is a statewide membership organization of educators, adult students, and others who support equal educational opportunities for adults. MCAE is dedicated to the advancement of adult education through high quality services and professionalism in the field from basic literacy and English for Speakers of Other Languages through transitions to post-secondary education.
MCAE annually honors outstanding students and practitioners in adult education at the NETWORK conference each October. This year's awards were given on Thursday October 22, 2009 in Marlborough.