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An Education Can Mean A Lot For Those Who Don’t Have It

Sophia Canfield, born and raised in Syracuse, N.Y., wants to be able to give her daughter everything she possibly can, but doing so is difficult on the income she makes working at a fast food restaurant.


"Money is tight," Sophia simply states.

This realization led to her search for a better job...which led to a second realization. Most of the jobs in which she was interested required a GED certificate or high school diploma.

"There were a lot of jobs I wanted to apply for, but I didn’t have my GED certificate, so I couldn’t," says Sophia.

After a recommendation from a close friend who had gotten her GED certificate, Sophia started meeting with Linda Smith at ProLiteracy, the oldest and largest membership organization in the United States dedicated to advancing the cause of adult literacy and basic education. She was both nervous and excited at the thought of coming to ProLiteracy for the first time. She knew she wanted to make a change and improve her literacy skills, but she also considered the possibility of failing.

"I didn’t want to start something and then fail it, so I just stayed positive," says Sophia.

This concern stemmed from some of her previous experiences with GED classes.

"I had gone to other GED classes, but everyone was taught at the same level. I didn’t feel I was at the same level. Even though Ms. Linda had other students, she still took time to look at what I needed help with, and she helped me. She’s a good teacher," says Sophia.

"Sophia was a very hard worker…She is very bright, just needed someone to believe in her," says Linda.

Sophia’s GED preparation with Linda made the difference. In June, she took and passed her GED test.

Now that she has her GED, Sophia is excited for her future and plans to go to college for accounting or business management. She hopes that getting a business degree will help her reach her ultimate goal of opening a spa and making people feel happy and relaxed.

Getting her GED certificate has also helped her become a better role model for her daughter and other young children. Sophia encourages them to stay in school and recognizes the importance of a high school diploma.

"It may not seem like much to other people, but a high school education or GED certificate, is a lot for those who don’t have it… Now I can do so much more. I’m excited to see what my future is going to be like," she says, as her face brightens with a huge smile. 

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