Student Stories: Celebrating the Success of Adult Literacy Learners

A Story About the Success & Achievements of Adult Literacy Learners

We can only imagine that not being able to read a book, a menu at a restaurant, a bill, or street sign would add an immense amount of stress and difficulty to day-to-day tasks for an adult of any age. When we hear about adult learners who succeed in their efforts to gain basic literacy skills, we find joy in sharing their stories with you.

Grenada League for Adult Development (GLAD), in Grenada, Mississippi, collaborates with the Elizabeth Jones Library, and Grenada School District’s Adult Basic Education Program to promote and provide adult literacy services and resources. GLAD is a nonprofit, volunteer literacy council with a mission to help adults of all ages who want to improve their lives, and play active roles in their communities by improving their basic literacy skills. The Grenada nonprofit focuses primarily on improving the reading, writing, technology, math, and problem-solving skills of its adult learners.

We want to highlight the stories of inspiring GLAD students who have displayed tremendous and inspirational dedication to their literacy advancement during their time at the program. Below are the Grenada Chapter of the National Adult Education Honor Society nomination submissions that were written about three students who have recently been inducted into the Honor Society. You can view these stories and more by visiting

Ashley Duke

Ashley Duke started attending adult education classes in the summer of 2016. Since her enrollment she has obtained a bronze level National Career Readiness Certificate, a Computer Fundamentals certificate from Holmes Community College, a Digital Literacy certificate, completed her first semester of the Business Office Technology program at Holmes Community College through the Mississippi Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training initiative, and passed three of the four GED® tests. Ashley plans to take the fourth section, which is math, within the next couple of months. In addition to the preceding accolades, she has received numerous subject area awards. 

Ashley approaches each assignment with eagerness and a strong work ethic. Over the course of the last class session, I have witnessed the continued building of her academic confidence, whether it has been in math class or her business office technology course. She asks questions to ensure her understanding and is often the first to share her perspective. 

The National Adult Education Honor Society is a way to recognize adult learners who have proven their commitment to continuing their education and displayed a zealous spirit toward learning and participation in the classroom. Those ideals radiate from Ashley each day that she enters the classroom. I proudly nominate Ashley Duke for induction into the Grenada Chapter of the National Adult Education Honor Society.   

—Submitted by Priscilla Burns

Gerald Hubbard

If you want to know a person’s strength, you don’t have to know everything that individual has been through, just observe that individual’s jubilance. I would like to nominate Gerald Hubbard for induction into the National Adult Education Honor Society.

Gerald started attending adult education classes in the summer of 2016. Since his enrollment, I have had the pleasure of having Gerald in math and reading classes. He has made significant strides academically. Within a few months of his enrollment, Gerald advanced a TABE level in both math and reading. Gerald’s academic accomplishments include: obtaining the bronze level National Career Readiness Certificate, receiving a Computer Fundamentals certificate from Holmes Community College, and academic awards in both math and reading. He also received a fall 2016 Student Dedication award. Gerald has maintained near perfect attendance. The few days he has missed class were related to his health. I know that if Gerald is not in class, something must be wrong.

Gerald is an active participant in class lessons. He always completes class assignments in a timely manner. When I pose a question to the class about a math problem or reading assignment, he always has a well thought-out, or on many occasions, thought-provoking response. Gerald is a class leader who encourages his fellow classmates by offering an inspiring word or pearl of wisdom. Despite his health concerns and life hurdles, Gerald always has a positive outlook. He enters the classroom each morning with a smile on his face and cheery greeting for all. It is exhilarating to observe the commitment and joy Gerald has for continuing his education.

Based on his academic accomplishments and proven dedication, I proudly nominate Gerald Hubbard for the distinct honor of membership in the National Adult Education Honor Society. 

—Submitted by Priscilla Burns


Daniel Wiggins

It is amazing how diverse our student population is, both in age and in experience. Each student walks through our doors with a unique story and a personal journey that invites our attention. Often, when a student enrolls, you try to find out a little about their background so that you can figure out how best to meet their needs.

In Daniel's case, I found out quite early on that his upbringing had been anything but conventional, and I was somewhat surprised at how obviously mature and literate he was. His scores upon entry were surprisingly high, with his greatest challenge being math. He also seemed like a perfect fit for the MiBEST Welding program. As he continued in the program it soon became evident that Daniel could not only have survived by his wits, but he possessed an intellect that would allow him to thrive in any number of fields.

In short order, Daniel has passed three parts of the GED® leaving the math test until last, which has now become his focus. Even though the sophistication of algebraic thinking stretches him sometimes to the limit, his own drive and desire to fill in the knowledge gaps will pay dividends in time. He participates fully, questions continually, and maintains a positive attitude, even when feeling somewhat lost. He, however, exhibits all the necessary traits of a successful student and leads by example.  He exemplifies all that we would want an adult learner to be, and so it is a joy and privilege to nominate Daniel Wiggins as an inductee to the National Adult Education Honor Society.  

—Submitted by Jonathan Moore


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