Steepletown’s efforts in helping young adults earn their high school equivalency/ GED has continued to grow over the past program year. For those who are not familiar with Steepletown, this is one of Steepletown’s core programs under its workforce development services. There were 19 young adults who completed this credential during last program year! In addition, there was nearly a 50% increase in the number of young adults who took an official GED test over last year; the passing rate also increased to 88% from 73% last year.
What this means for many of them is the opportunity to pursue their career goals. Several go on to college and others pursue specific occupational training leading to nationally recognized credentials and good paying jobs. One young individual, Max Velasco, completed his GED back in March. Since then he has begun an accelerated associate degree program at Cornerstone University, and has obtained a full-time position as a teller at Huntington Bank. Additionally, Max has found support and opportunity to develop as a professional within the Latino Network of West Michigan where he holds a position on the leadership board.
This fall Steepletown is partnering with Sparta Adult Education and the Kent ISD. Staff from the Sparta Adult Education will be offering GED classes for adult learners 25 and older, as well as credit recovery for those wanting to earn their highschool diploma. This will take place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:00-9:00p.m. The ISD will be offering ESL classes on Monday-Thursday mornings, from 9:00a.m.-noon. The purpose of providing adult education is to support those in our neighborhood who desire to increase their academic skills in pursuit of fully developing their God-given talents. This ultimately leads to a sense of well-being and purpose, in that each individual has a significant contribution to offer within our community. Bishop David Walkowiak said as much in his recent article A Labor Day Reflection on the Dignity of Work: “To the extent that human progress can contribute to the common good and ordering of society, it is of great importance to the Kingdom of God.” (Faith Magazine, September 2018)