One student’s story

“Ava” prefers not to use her real name due to the sensitive nature of some of her personal history.

After years of doubting her abilities, Ava became a student at the Brunner Literacy Center’s (BLC) location at the Day Reporting Center, which operates as a partnership with the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. The BLC established this partnership on a full-time basis in January 2017 after a pilot run proved successful in the latter half of 2016. At the Day Reporting Center (DRC), the BLC offers individualized tutoring to students who are serving short-term sentences (30-90 days) for low-level felonies. Since the beginning of this partnership, BLC staff and volunteers have helped more than 135 DRC students to earn GED credentials.

From the age of 15, drug addiction had eclipsed Ava’s view of her own brilliance and prevented her from creating positive goals. In the summer of 2019, Ava chose not only to pursue a brave recovery, but also to begin tutoring for the GED exam through the BLC. Ava was immediately reacquainted with her deep love of learning and desire to apply each piece of knowledge gained to her life. After just a few weeks of intensive tutoring, Ava became a GED graduate, defying her expectations for herself. Ava now approaches college with the same hunger for learning, eager to try out a variety of courses to help determine her career path. She reflects on acquiring her GED: “What I thought was impossible is now essential for my future.” Ava is articulate and insightful. Without a doubt, she will continue to inspire others with her words and her example.

Story by Mary Knapke

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