Empowerment through Education

on 26 June 2018

Marilyn only dropped out of school because she needed to be there for her child—she prioritized her daughter’s wellbeing over her own needs as any good mother would.

 Fortunately for Marilyn, her situation was exactly what Turning Points’ E3 program is designed to help. E3 stands for Employment, Education, and Empowerment, and is a program that takes ambitious dreams and helps make them a reality for people who lack the resources to do so on their own. E3's classes are free and address a wide variety of needs: preparation for the GED, college bridging, life skills, community service, and beyond. The program takes in people who dropped out of high school and ensures that they are not defined by that event. Participants end up qualified to pursue higher education with the tools to succeed in whatever career path they choose. Another aspect which is great for parents like Marilyn is that E3 also provides a daycare in the same building.

Marilyn began as a low literacy student, as her time away from school left her with a fourth grade reading level. After six months of literacy classes, she was able to test out and begin taking pre-GED classes.

At these classes, it became clear that Marilyn is very intelligent as it took her less than seven months to earn her GED. Due to this impressive progress, she was named valedictorian of the 2015 graduating E3 class. After graduation, she started at Harcum College, where she majored in Human Services because of her desire to help others. E3 was also able to help her during college, as she was able to access a computer because she did not have one at home. Since E3 is a satellite school for Harcum, Marilyn could take classes, make use of the building’s resources, and work—since she had been hired by E3 as a receptionist—all in the same building.  

In May of 2018, Marilyn received graduated with honors in her Associates Degree program, and now she is working for an emergency medic company. Marilyn was also the keynote speaker at E3’s graduation, highlighting that her success is exemplary of E3’s goals.