Columbus, OH – The Dominican Learning Center has been awarded a nearly-$10,000 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to help more than 40 underserved adult learners earn their GED, or High School Equivalency degree. This local grant is part of more than 159 million in grants awarded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation since it was founded in 1993.
“A high school diploma or GED raises median weekly earnings by almost $200,” says Lisset Mendoza, Director of the Dominican Learning Center. “This increase in wages makes a real difference in the life of a family – and in the financial health of the Central Ohio community.
The Dominican Learning Center is the only facility in Central Ohio that offers a Spanish-language GED program. Now in its second cycle, this program has an 80% graduation rate, and all of those new graduates have received promotions or pay raises at their jobs. As important is the boost in confidence and self-esteem that this educational opportunity has helped to provide.
“Of all of the successes that we have seen from the Spanish GED program, perhaps one of the most moving is from a woman who did not graduate,” Ms. Mendoza says. “This student stopped coming to class, and when she called withdraw, she said, ‘I had no hope in my life. I was poor, my husband was abusing me – I truly had no hope. But this class showed me my own strength, and has given me the confidence to leave my abuser and start my life again.’ That story is how education changes lives.”
“We are honored to fund literacy and education initiatives, which support our mission of Serving Others,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO. “The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018 and a legacy of helping people improve their lives through literacy and education. Including this grant, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has provided more than $154 million in funding to help more than 10 million people. We believe these programs can have a positive impact on the communities we serve and we look forward to continuing to partner with organizations dedicated to making a difference in the lives of millions of Americans.”
Currently, the Dominican Learning Center has more than 400 adult learners enrolled, from 49 countries around the world. One of the goals of the DLC is to promote peace and non-violence among immigrant communities in Central Ohio.