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Literacy for Life helps staff member achieve dream

  • The graduate
    The graduate  Goldie Warren received her high school diploma this summer, thanks in part to the help of Literacy for Life.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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As staff members with Literacy for Life at the Rita Welsh Adult Learning Center moved into their new home in the William & Mary School of Education this summer, they received a report that reassured them of the importance of their work.

Goldie Warren, a housekeeping worker with facilities management at William & Mary, had received her high school diploma four decades after leaving school – and all thanks to their help.

Warren called the achievement “a blessing from God.” She left high school 40 years ago when she became pregnant, and she tried to return several times to earn her diploma but emergencies kept her from achieving her dream.

In 2007, Warren began attending “Adult Skills” classes at Literacy for Life at the Rita Welsh Adult Learning Center. The center offers high school completion assistance and tutoring for adults in the Greater Williamsburg Area. Though the center is an independent agency, it works in partnership with the College’s School of Education, and numerous William & Mary students have donated their time there as tutors.

With the center’s help, Warren received her diploma on June 26, 2010, from Newport News Public Schools.

“My children and my husband encouraged me that I could do it,” she said. “I encouraged my children to stay in school to receive their diplomas, so my wonderful family wanted the same for me.”

Anna Bowen ’09 served as Warren’s tutor. She was delighted to hear of her success.

“She was always extremely determined and would let absolutely nothing stop her when it came to learning,” said Bowen. “I remember specifically that she wanted to get her diploma so that she could help her granddaughter with her schoolwork. Goldie always had an extremely positive attitude, even when the material we went over was difficult. I am so excited for her, and I can think of no one who deserves recognition for her achievement more.”

Warren wants others to know that they, too, can accomplish what she has done.

“I encourage anyone that is out there seeking their diploma or GED, don't give up. Don't be a failure,” she said. “Thank  you, Adult Skills, for the big push.”