A Journey From The Projects To Success

September 30, 2020 –

God sends people in and out of our lives. Some come to lift us up. Others need us to minister to their needs. Then there are those who leave a profound impact on our memory banks. One such person in my life was Sara, a young Welfare mother of two little girls, ages five and three. 

Sara had been a child who had fallen through the cracks. She had a fourth-grade education—she could read.

When she came into the Adult Education class I was teaching, she was belligerent and not at all happy to be there. But, she needed her welfare benefits, so she came. There were thirty women in the class designed to help them get a GED and, perhaps, find a job.

Most of them suffered from low self-esteem and had little to no confidence in their ability to learn. This was especially true about math. One day we were working on algebra. They were all convinced they could not do it. So on the board I wrote: 1+1= ; 1+1=|_|; 1+1=x. The light went on for Sara as she said, “x=2”!

I always encouraged my ladies to let their children see them study. I told them one of the best gifts they could give their children was showing them the importance of education.

It took Sara almost two years and four tries to pass all five components of the GED, but she persevered. As soon as she had her diploma in hand, she found a job at a local manufacturing business. She moved her girls out of the project into a small two-bedroom house with a yard.

Sara was so proud when she told me how getting her GED had changed her life. I felt so blessed to have helped her!

Recently, I called a retired friend who had helped with this long ago class to see if she knew what had happened to Sara. She checked with someone who did.

Sara is now the Floor Supervisor of the company she went to work for 26 years ago. Her oldest daughter is an Associate Math Professor at the Community College! The other daughter is an OBGYN nurse at the local hospital!

Watching their mother study and persevere years ago, positively impacted their lives in a positive way—from the projects to professional success! 

— Janet Windle —

Used by permission