A CEO Mission in Action
Fatima Estrada Rascon – Regis University
Note: A Mission In Action Report relates a student’s experience or small set of connected experiences from their time at CEO which depicts the “mission in action” and provides the reader with a clear perception or vital impression of the beliefs or values espoused by CEO as an institution. I.E. CEO ‘talks the talk’ – how do they ‘walk the walk’? (This is the ninth report in the Regis 2014 Series)
“From my experience at the CEO men’s facility last year, I could share a handful of success stories that I was privileged with experiencing. I was constantly challenged and impressed by men with limited background in education who quickly excelled in the material that I was tutoring them on.
The men seemed to share a desire and enthusiasm for receiving a GED and educational opportunities that they had not had before. This year at the CEO women’s facility I was equally impressed by the women’s ability and understanding of the material. Yet, despite the obvious knowledge and ability of most of the women in the facility, I did not sense the same enthusiasm or desire for the educational opportunities that CEO is providing.
I would often receive apathetic responses when I would ask the women in the facility if they needed help. Every so often, a woman allows me to sit down with her and work through problems. They have all been grateful and responsive to the help, but when I congratulate them for their great work and ask what the next steps are I often receive a frustrated response. For a lot of the women the GED is too expensive and they don’t see how they will be able to afford it, or some ladies admitted to just trying to get through the required hours since the GED seemed unobtainable with its increased difficulty.
At first, I was wasn’t sure how to respond the first times that I heard these responses since the men I knew previously were always advocating for getting the GED. I soon realized that the GED had changed at the beginning of the year into a more expensive and difficult electronic test. It no longer seem realistic to expect most of the women to be able to afford the test or be confident about passing it since it was suddenly demanding a lot more.
I have always admired CEO for the hope and attention that it provides a community that is, unfortunately, often ignored or rejected by society. It was disappointing to see how institutional changes were affecting the mission of CEO. The staff at CEO have not given up or stopped believing in the ability of their clients, but it is hard to see the clients lose hope because of the changes to the GED.
Despite these changes, CEO has not lost its commitment to building personal relationships that help foster independence among at risk adults. The trans-formative potential of education is still apparent at CEO, but it is unfortunate to see how much this is delayed for most clients due to institutional changes that are out of CEO’s control.
What CEO does best is provide incomparable services that give hope and encouragement to marginalized individuals. They will always continue to do this, and I strongly believe that the attention at CEO has the potential to overcome all obstacles that are put in the way of adult education.”