LAKELAND, Fla. — Imagine going from a GED to a college graduate.
This week’s A+ Teacher is helping students of all ages pursue just that.
It's a sign of hope and second chances at West Area Adult School in Lakeland.
Most of the students are 30 to 40 years old. The school stresses opportunities to them to get their high school level education and go on to bigger and better things.
There was powerful proof of that mission at this year’s commencement ceremony where multiple students completed their high school educations.
“A former graduate who now has an engineering firm in Tampa gave a scholarship to one of our students that was planning to go into the engineering field," said Cheryl Case, a transition specialist at West Area Adult School.
Whether it is engineering or any other career choice, 90 percent of their graduates continue their education.
Case is a big reason why.
“I meet with them (students) and we decide where do they want to go to school,” she said. “College or university, or real estate school.”
Then Case helps find the financial aid to pay for it and helps them for years after they graduate.
"It really, truly is a family here,” Case said. “We tell them that they’re ours for life. You make the connection, you build a relationship with them. again, with our students, many times, they have to know they can trust you before they’re going to open up and then they realize that you truly love them and you’re here to help them in whatever way they need.”