San Juan Sunrise Tech Center & Creekside Adult Center
Nominated in 2023
I take great pleasure in introducing you to Jennifer Mowry, my GED Prep student at Sunrise Tech Center, San Juan Adult Education in Citrus Heights.
Jennifer demonstrates strong and consistent growth in class. She diligently studies the Aztec software for GED distance learning, and also eagerly enjoys utilizing new learning apps and websites to increase her growth and understanding. She can be depended upon to learn about and utilize a new app and then will share a review of it with classmates. I believe that she holds numerous top scores on Vocabulary.com, Quizlet, and ReadTheory apps! In April Jennifer passed her second of four GED tests, and continues to reach academic goals.
She is a class leader and now assists me in Zoom classes as the Co-host, following my format. She helps open the class, welcomes students into the "room," monitors the chat box, and alerts me to questions and comments students wish to make. All this helps create an opportunity for students to learn in a safe, encouraging environment. She also independently searches for inspirational comments and quotes to share in class. Her testimonial of moving from a seventh-grade to a twelfth-grade reading level after months of reading a variety of printed forms stands out as an inspiration. She has shared that she has a learning disability, and that she knows how to make accommodations for herself to "work around" it. She also says that set-backs and failures still give her opportunities to exhibit a Growth mindset. In January she said, "Just because you fall or stumble, you can always find a way to grow from these situations. You never give up."
Jennifer was eager to sign up for a pilot program combining adult education and college enrollment, affectionately called the Dual Enrollment program. She loves studying for both GED and college courses, and for her, each class and setting enhances the other. This has spurred her on to choose more classes in the Los Rios Community College system after this semester and to encourage other students to consider the Dual Enrollment program. She is strongly leaning towards courses in human development and education. She has had multiple meetings with the San Juan Adult Education College & Career Program Tech to discuss career and college choices. She loves education and wants to work in adult education.
In her GED Prep class, Jennifer embraced units on SMART goals for academic achievement. In class one day she said, "I'm so looking forward to achieving my goal, because this way I will have a total of two major accomplishments in my life other than my 2 sons."
This summer Jennifer is planning to work as a volunteer at The Artbox, a fun setting for creativity for children. She will also be working in the community with food and clothing drives in Orangevale Park and the California State Fair. She is thrilled to do this and to give back to the community while learning more about interacting with children and parents to prepare for future work in education.
But this was not always the description of Jennifer in class. She went from timid and reticent to emerging as a class leader. I watched a shy 49-year-old growing in class Zoom meetings as we discussed GED study lessons, tests and skills and drills, as well as life goals, planning, and the Growth Mindset. Jennifer listened and processed it all.
Health issues restricted her involvement in on-site classes, but she was determined to manage mobility so that she could come to school for CASAS tests and even came for the Christmas brunch to meet and enjoy her classmates. Her health issues require her to make careful plans, and accept the help of others. Jennifer does not have a car and must depend on others for transportation. She did not have a computer to do the online study, but her roommate gifted her with one, seeing her infectious determination.
Jennifer seemed to discover and celebrate that life really does have "do-overs" - that the mistakes and disappointments of the past or the present do not dictate failure in the future. She recently ventured to tell the class about letting old failures rest, and she freely asserts this grace is for herself, her family, and her friends, too. Jennifer reminds us that hope in and for the future is hard-won sometimes, and she has reached a generous and joyous anticipation for the future.
"My journey is better than I expected it to be." Jennifer Mowry 9/12/23