School Spotlight: Osseo’s Adult Basic Education Program
Osseo Area Schools educates not only students, but adults too. The Adult Education Program (ABE) has been around for more than 30 years and helps adult students get their GED, connect to training programs, or get certified in a particular field.
About Adult Basic Education (ABE)
“I lost my fears to talk and to communicate with people,” says Michelle Lamardo, a former adult education student. “That was a great goal that I achieved here.”
Lamardo immigrated to America from Venezuela in 2014. That same year, she enrolled both her and her daughter in the family literacy program. The program helps immigrants improve their English. Osseo Area Scholols offers the program through their Adult Basic Education classes.
“You have the opportunity to see more than what’s right in front of you,” added Lamardo. “It gives you the opportunity to experience traditions cultures from different countries, and here everyone is a person. You can feel like you here.”
Helping people like Michelle thrive in a new place is just one of the services provided by Osseo’s ABE program.
“Osseo Adult Basic Education has been around for over 30 years,” says Emily Watts, Osseo ABE coordinator. “We provide service to the community for adults that are interested in improving their academic skills. Some are students who have never had a chance to go to school before. Others are students who maybe have an advanced degree in their home country that would like to improve their English skills. “
Program Offers Job Training
The program offers job training and certifications. They range from a certified nursing assistant to a hand soldering program. Each with the goal of giving those who participate more opportunities.
“The foundation of these training programs is called pathways to prosperity,” says Dawn Wambeke, the Work Force Director. “The idea is, that these are actually stepping stones out of poverty and it doesn’t necessarily stop there.”
Abe also works with employers to help place students once they complete their education.
“Immigrants and refugees make up over 10 percent of the workforce,” added Wambeke. “With a shortage of workers it’s really been a neat time to work with employers. They are grateful for our programs because there really is a need.”
Most importantly, the program is here to help anyone regardless of their background.
“Our program is really designed to help adults,” added Watts. “No matter where they are from, no matter what their skill level is, we want them to reach their goals. That might include students who come from other countries. Our goal is to help them figure out ways to feel more comfortable and confident navigating life in the United States.
How to Register
You can register for the Osseo ABE program any time at the Northwest Family Service Center in Brooklyn Center. It may take 4 hours to register. During registration you’ll learn about the program, and learn next step.