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Ms. Evelyn Rawls earned her GED as an older adult but was not content to stop her educational journey there. She always had the goal of going to college but didn’t know where to start. Then she saw an ad on television for the ACE program and learned there was a path to college that would work for her. 

Like so many other students, the sense of community she found at her partnership site was foundational to her success. “We came together like family. People here make me feel very comfortable. They challenge me and I challenge them back.”

The encouraging way her teachers provided instruction helped Ms. Rawls break through a barrier to learning she had in her own mind – judging herself too harshly in the classroom. “I’m getting over that. I owe it all to the teachers. Now, I am a better speaker, speller, and writer.” Her mind freed from self-judgment, Ms. Rawls was open to and experienced academic success earning straight A’s throughout her degree program. She’s risen to the challenge and graduated, and is ready to pursue a bachelor’s degree. 

Ms. Rawls has worked for the school district for over twenty years years as a teaching assistant, celebrates a 32-year marriage, four children and 20 grandchildren! To all of them, Evelyn is an advocate and role model for pursuing their education dreams. She is also encouraging other older adults to go to school by saying, “If I can do it, you can do it.”