Faces of NDEC
Have you ever taken a class you liked so much, you hated to see it end? Dietra Lee has. In fact, she loved NDEC’s computer class so much she took it twice.
Dietra explains that she was unemployed when she met Workforce and Partnership Manager Nathan Hoffman at a job fair in Boston in 2017. Her computer skills needed upgrading, so she enrolled in Office Skills & Technology Training. “I loved it,” she recalls. “I didn’t miss one day.”
After class ended, Dietra and Nathan stayed in touch. On Nathan’s recommendation, she enrolled in last summer’s Tech Goes Home Distance Learning computer course, which she also enjoyed.
“Nathan always has time to answer questions. He’s very patient,” Dietra says. “Any time I needed help with anything, I could email him. The program was very supportive.” Thanks to her newly upgraded skills, Dietra is now a case manager at a homeless shelter, where she works with families and people who are struggling with addiction.
According to an old saying, “When a door closes, a window opens.” Lakiya Echols, a student in NDEC’s Youth Hi-SET program, has found that to be true. She lost her job last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but found a renewed purpose at NDEC.
“I attended many different GED programs, but I never finished,” says Lakiya. “But once I lost my job, I was determined to get my GED. I was Googling programs when I came across NDEC.” It was a perfect fit. “My first day here,” she states, “I knew I was going to accomplish what I wanted to do.”
Lakiya began classes in July and will graduate in June. Even though classes are being held remotely, she’s found a sense of
community with her fellow students. “My classmates are amazing,” she says. “I enjoy being in class with them.” She’s also grown personally. “I’ve learned to be patient and take my time. More importantly, I’ve learned that I can accomplish anything.” Lakiya has worked hard, and she thanks her teachers -- Leslie Feeney, Youth Education and Adult Education Services Program Manager; Adam Berndt, YES/AES Education Specialist; and Instructor Elaine Fallon – for everything they’ve taught her. “They are amazing,” she says. “They understand me and take the time to teach me everything I need to know. I’ve learned a lot and I have so much more confidence in everything I do.”