This week the Illinois State Library spotlights the Safer Foundation/PACE Institute in Chicago. Sometimes improving one’s education can lead to a new beginning. A female adult learner was incarcerated in Cook County jail but was studying with a tutor through the PACE Institute of Safer Foundation. The student wanted to obtain her GED when she exited prison. Before she could take the test, she needed to improve her writing and reading skills. Upon her release from jail, the woman asked to be recommended for a transitional housing placement available through Safer Foundation.
At this facility, she continued her education and tried to become employed, making a clean break from her troubled past. This adult learner continued to work with her tutor, two hours a day for four days a week, until she was prepared to take the GED test. She took the test and received the GED diploma. She then applied for financial aid to continue her education at Harold Washington College in Chicago. Because of her criminal background, the woman was denied financial aid. She continued in Safer Foundation’s program services until she acquired two jobs. Her job performance on one of her jobs has been so impressive that her employer is committed to supporting her educational goals by sending her to Harold Washington College. Without the PACE Institute and the dedication of tutors, this learner might have had a very different outcome. Instead, she is on her way to a positive and productive future.