In her 15 years at Vancouver School Board’s Adult Education, outreach worker Dana Alvaro has interacted with hundreds of students and has been a part of helping them achieve their goals to succeed in their programs. Alvaro has and continues to help students in all non-academic areas of their experience at VSB’s Adult Ed, including completing forms and applications, connecting students to academic and personal counseling services, as well as helping them access assistance in their communities.
Alvaro believes it is these systems of support that differentiate VSB’s Adult Ed program from the others available. “We have a lot of systems in place for support for our students, and in doing that we create a real sense of community,” says Alvaro. She adds that it is this sense of community that helps students succeed and creates such a unique learning environment when it comes to adult education.
“Our students are very eager to learn and they have chosen to be here,” says Alvaro, who also coordinates the volunteer program at South Hill Education Centre. Alvaro adds that many of her volunteers are career-oriented individuals, who have extra time and are keen to help other individuals pursue their dreams. The volunteer program is one component of many supports in place at Adult Ed. The academic advisors and career information assistant work closely with students in their academic pursuits.
All of these “wrap around services,” as Alvaro calls them, contribute to a positive and empowering student experience.
“A student can succeed at Adult Ed once they realize their potential. This self-realization combined with all the supports we have in place really does contribute to their success,” says Alvaro.