Adult Education Changes Lives: Reflecting on Student Success During Adult Education & Family Literacy Week


Every year, thousands of students take the next step in their college or career journeys by enrolling in our Adult Education program. City Colleges’ free classes to learn English or prepare to earn a high school diploma offer students a pathway to achieve their dreams, whether they want to transition into college, head into the workforce, or simply achieve a lifelong goal.

We’re proud to celebrate their successes during National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, which is recognized this year from September 18 to 24. While each of our students has a unique story and journey, they are bound together by their desire to improve their education—and their lives.

Felecia Tiney

Take, for instance, Felecia Tiney, who put high school on hold to raise 12 kids. After spending 25 years away from the classroom, Felecia’s son inspired her to head back to school at Malcolm X College to prepare for her high school diploma. Now, Felecia’s working towards her Basic Nursing Assistant certificate at Malcolm X and is receiving free tuition through City Colleges’ Future Ready program.

“I’m not stopping there either,” she said. “Eventually, I want to get my bachelor’s degree in nursing and open my own nursing agency.”

Alvaro Mendieta, Truman College’s 2022 valedictorian, got his start in English as a Second Language classes after he arrived in Chicago from Ecuador. Once he had improved his English, Alvaro enrolled in the Gateway Scholars program, which allowed him to take college credit courses at half the price. He earned his associate degree this spring and is now working towards a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

City Colleges’ Adult Education Department is dedicated to supporting students like Felecia, Alvaro, and so many others who are able to complete one dream before reaching for the next. To celebrate Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, the team shared examples of why Adult Education is so critical.

City Colleges thanks all of the instructors, advisors, administrators, and others who support our Adult Education students. Your work truly does change lives, and we are proud to celebrate your tireless efforts both during National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week and every week.

Members of City Colleges’ Adult Education Department share why Adult Education matters to them.