Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Over the past three years, Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority's "Pathways to Self Sufficiency" program has partnered with the Danville, Virginia public school system's adult education program and seen some 20 public housing residents obtain their GED.

But at a January graduation ceremony it was a public housing employee who made the history. Management assistant Sheryl Christy, 55, became the first employee to complete requirements for a high school diploma.

[Photo: Sheryl Christy]
Sheryl Christy

Actually, though, it may have been Ms. Christy's second time around. She had thought she had graduated from a New Jersey high school 30 years ago, she told Emily Cropp of The Danville Register Bee, but when she'd sought a transcript she was told the New Jersey school had no record of her graduation.

With her new, maybe second diploma in hand, Ms. Christy says "I feel much better, more secure," adding that "it wasn't that hard to go back" because "when I was out of school that long I forgot a lot of stuff."

Danville's adult education teachers, she said, "are great. If you need help, they're there. It was a pleasure going there and I originally hated going to school."

Her next step? Well, first she'll buy a car but then she hopes to go onto college. "Sheryl is a poster child," adds the Danville Authority's Jean Hinton, "for the simple fact that it's never too late and you're never too old to learn. That's what self-sufficiency is all about."

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