Research has shown that when you educate a mother, you educate her child. In Lenore and April King’s case, steps to educate the child led to the education of the mother.
Lenore King had been out of the work force for 10 years. An injury in 2003 forced her to stop working. She had an eighth grade education and decided living off of her disability would have to be her life, but she wanted more for her daughter, April. So when April dropped out of school her junior year, Lenore decided to enroll her in a GED prep course. When Lenore went to Literacy Council of Tyler’s office, her intention was to sign her daughter up in a GED class. When she left that office, not only had she enrolled her daughter, she also enrolled herself! After listening to the LCOT staff describe the program in which her daughter would be engaging, Lenore got excited not only for her daughter but also for herself. She realized that she could do more than live off of disability, and it all would start by getting her GED. “That’s it. This is my future,” she told Rebecca Hoeffner from the Tyler Paper who interviewed her and April for a story published in the local paper.
Both mother and daughter team worked hard, soaking up all they could from the intensive six-week course in which they enrolled. April having more recent education history had a little easier time than her mother, but they stuck it out together having perfect attendance. April even enrolled in the dual enrollment program administered by LCOT in which she not only attended the intensive GED prep program but also attended a four-week basic nurse aide training course. Lenore was also interested but was unable to enroll because of a car wreck that landed her in crutches. But that did not stop them. They both made it to class every day, not wanting to miss a single bit of information.
Today, both women are graduates of the intensive GED program and are proud holders of GED certificates. Lenore commented after learning she earned her GED, “If you want something bad enough, you have to try.” As for April, having your mom attend class with you would not be a “cool” thing for most younger students, but for April, having her mom, her support, sitting right next to her was a blessing. Now, they are ready to enter the workforce, and April is ready to continue her education in college. Lenore, perhaps, may get inspired again and set her sights on college as well.