“I was laid off in 2013 after 24 years because I didn’t have a degree. Finding another job was hard.” It can’t get more real than that. After a year of unemployment, Larry started working at a grocery store, but wanted to find a job that was more meaningful to him.
Larry’s sister graduated from Harcum in 2016 and was the driving force behind his choice to pursue his associate degree with the ACE program. “She encouraged me to enroll, and it was a challenge,” he says, but after taking the leap, he considers it the best decision he’s made in the last five years. Inspired by his grandfather’s return to learning, Larry’s 19 year old grandson also returned to night school to finish his high school diploma.
Even though Larry had been out of school for forty years, all the assumptions he had made about himself and education — that he couldn’t pick up concepts quickly as an adult, or that he wasn’t an “intelligent” person — were replaced by the realization that he could do anything. “ACE has made me realize that there are no limits to me. When I walk, I hold my head up higher, and when I ask for a raise at work I know that I deserve it.”