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Community leaders tackle adult education crisis

Local leaders lobby for support for education programs

MONROE, La. - Education leaders in Monroe went down to baton rouge to talk about a big problem.

The need for adult education, is a problem that affects over one million people in the state of Louisiana.

"If we all come together we can make an impact on the community especially if we want to make a change economically," Adult Education Instructor, Anthony Garcia says.

"To hear people say that they didn't know that we existed they didn't know we were here it's kind of a little painful," Louisiana Public Community Adult Education Program Director, Vickie Wheelis, said.

Half the population in the state is suffering from a lack of learning, but people here are ready to turn things around.
"Adult education changes lives," Garcia said.
 
Kimberly Lee, an alumni of the program,  is one of those lives.

"I became a victim of sexual abuse at a very young age," Lee said.
 
"It caused me to have a lot of trouble in school and i dropped out around the 7th grade."
 
Tough times followed her into adulthood.
 
"Once it went down it went down and at one point I just thought I couldn't come up, but her life started to turn around went  back to school," Lee said.

"I didn't think I would accomplish anything and seven months later I received my high school diploma."
 
Lee isn't the only one having success out of the LAPCAE program. There are many other success stories.
 

"I decided that I wanted to drop out of school in the 5th grade," Ashley Livley said.
After the program, Livley went on to become a Certified Nursing Assistant.
 
"I didn't finish high school in the 9th grade I left school," Anthony Blackmen said.
 
Blackmen was able to attain his HiSET and put himself in a position to take care of his wife and their five kids.
It's a program that's about more  than hitting the books.
 
It's about life skills too.
 
People who've achieved success in after the LAPCAE program now help inspire people to get in.
 
"The first start is getting their education and come on I'll take you to go get it," Lively said.
 
The Louisiana Association for Public community and Adult Education  serves more than 35,000 people and they plan to help more, once word gets out.
 
Their building is located at 24 Accent Drive in Monroe, Louisiana.
 

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