Viola Robinson never let dropping out of school in the 10th grade to care for her mother stop her love of reading. She credits her uncle for encouraging her and keeping her in class—even if it was an unconventional setting.
After raising three grandchildren, and doing some work with children with behavioral health issues, Viola was motivated to go back to school and get her GED®.
“I developed a passion for helping children with behavioral health issues,” explained Viola. “Once my older grandchildren completed high school and went on to college, I decided it was time to focus on me.”
She started pre-GED® classes in June of 2014 at The Mayor’s Commission on Literacy’s myPLACE℠ campus, District 1199c Training and Upgrading Fund. Following her enrollment in myPLACE℠, she was paired with mentor Gary Rose. MCOL mentors provide new adult learners with the guidance, support, and encouragement they need to complete their learning journey.
“Having the support of my mentor has helped a lot. We can talk about anything and I feel comfortable making mistakes. It is very important that you feel comfortable with your mentor,” Viola said. “Gary asks me what I want to do and it shows me that I have the right to choose. I don’t feel pressured and that is really helpful.”
When asked what the biggest lesson she’s learned by going back to school and working with Gary has been, Viola said, “Patience and perseverance! It doesn’t matter to me how long it takes me to finish, as long as I finish. My grandchildren tell me all the time that they are so proud of me; I am so appreciative of that.”
Viola’s ultimate goal is to earn her Master’s in Behavioral Health and work with mentally disabled youth.