This week the Illinois State Library spotlights the De La Salle Tolton Center in Chicago.
This adult learner struggled to pursue an education while growing up in a rough neighborhood. He dropped out of school before receiving his high school diploma because his so-called “friends” were leading him down a road of failure. The man obtained a job stocking boxes and sweeping floors, but soon realized he wanted to attend trade school. He pursued a certificate in automotive and diesel technology, completed the requirements and worked for many years as a mechanic. He wanted to start his own business but when that did not materialize, he began using drugs to help cope with the disappointment.
Eventually, he applied for a position at a warehouse and was told he needed a high school diploma or GED to qualify for the job. By chance, he was driving down Pulaski Road and saw the Tolton Adult Education sign in front of Legler Library. He jumped at the chance to enroll in the program, where he has made great strides in just a few short months. He feels comfortable working with his tutors on math and language arts and is determined to complete his GED requirements. He is now living a clean, sober life and his family is very proud of him.