Wiregrass’ adult education program and ESL classes break down the barriers for a student from Venezuela.

To free:

After moving to the United States from Venezuela, Wiregrass student Adriana Weffer struggled to learn a new language and get the help she needed. “I worked in factories in the mobile home industry and I had a really hard time with the English language, especially understanding it and speaking it,” Weffer explained. Having a strong work ethic and a determined spirit, she decided to turn her life around.

Weffer learned that Wiregrass Georgia Technical College offered English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and signed up for the free classes to help her learn English. Wiregrass offers ESL classes to non-English speaking students in Coffee and Lowndes counties. Having learned to speak English now, she credits ESL classes with boosting her confidence and independence. “The instructors have helped me build my confidence and I am now able to speak for myself regarding my professional and personal matters,” Weffer said.

Weffer was ready to learn more and set her sights on completing her high school equivalency. Before she could begin this part of her educational journey, one last thing in her life had to be in place. “It was important for me to gain financial independence so I could focus more on my educational goals,” Weffer explained. Weffer used the skills she learned working in the mobile home industry and started her own real estate investment company, Weffer Rentals, LLC. Through his company, Weffer buys and renovates rental properties.

“I’m independent now that I can speak English and I feel like I’m growing as a person,” Weffer said. “I want to keep growing and hungry for more now that more doors are opening for me.” She shared that education is something no one can take away from you, when you learn it, it stays with you forever. Weffer credits Wiregrass and says college is a blessing where one can get the education they need. Currently, she is still enrolled in Wiregrass Adult Education’s free GED® courses and plans to take her final test next month. Once she completes her GED®, she plans to enroll in the college’s cosmetology program.

Weffer was chosen to represent Wiregrass Georgia Technical College as the 2022 Georgian Outstanding Adult Literacy (EAGLE) Student of the Year. EAGLE is a statewide program that recognizes and rewards excellence in students enrolled in adult education programs. The award was announced Oct. 19 at a reception sponsored by the Valdosta Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce and ERCO Worldwide. This was the 24th annual event honoring an adult education student at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. She was nominated by Sandra Scurry, an adult education instructor.

The EAGLE Award program is an essential part of the Certified Community Literacy Program of Georgia, an umbrella organization that brings together all sectors of a community with literacy providers to map the best use of resources already available. It also aims to acquire the additional resources needed to meet local literacy needs.

Adriana will attend the Georgia EAGLE Leadership Institute March 14-16, 2022 in Atlanta. The Leadership Institute recognizes and honors students who have demonstrated superior achievement in adult education courses and programs. The Georgia Technical College System (TCSG), through its Office of Adult Education (OAE), sponsors the annual EAGLE Leadership Institute.

Those interested in enrolling in free ESL courses or high school equivalency courses to work toward GED® or HiSET, can contact the Office of Adult Education on the Coffee Campus at 229-468-2263 or to visit www.wiregrass.edu/adulted.