Sandra Warrington, left, works with WVC Adult Basic Skills Tutor Coordinator Linda Johnson, right.
Sandra Warrington began working when she was 13 years old to help support her mother and five siblings. She would drive her mother to work during breaks between classes at Pioneer Middle School, return to class, and then head to her own job after school. She stopped going to school altogether during the last quarter of her senior year.
"It was kind of scary," Sandra said. "Mom always managed to feed us. We didn't know how. She always did the chores and never complained much. How she kept the electric on for us, I'll never know. Sometimes I wonder if she ate."
Sandra's mother once told her, "As long as you're honest and work hard, you'll always have a job."
This was true for most of her life until she was laid off last year. Without a high school diploma, finding work in any field was nearly impossible, and so Sandra enrolled at Wenatchee Valley College to earn her GED. While she scored high on the CASAS test, passed the first half of her GED tests, and earned a Lion's Club scholarship to help pay for her Adult Basic Skills classes, she found college life intimidating, pointing out that two of her Adult Basic Skills instructors went to school with her youngest son. She has discovered, however, that she learns better by helping others with their school work.
"That's how I noticed her. She's always helping other students. People would come to her really easy," said Linda Johnson, WVC Adult Basic Skills Tutor Coordinator. She convinced Sandra to begin tutoring other students in the WVC Student Success Center. Sandra now tutors adult basic education level English, math and "anything anybody needs."
"She is the best," said fellow student Becky Samuelson. "She'll help anybody, anytime. She'll explain [the subject] at your level."
Her love of helping others, along with previous experience working with students with disabilities, led Sandra into the early childhood education program. She hopes to earn her Child Development Associate (CDA) credentials and to work with handicapped children.
"I'm pretty amazed I got this far," Sandra said. "I just turned 56. I'm a late bloomer. But I love people."
The WVC Early Childhood Education program is enrolling students in summer-quarter classes and offers short certificates and an associate in applied sciences-transfer degree. For more information, visit www.wvc.edu/ece.
1300 Fifth Street, Wenatchee, WA 98801 Phone: (509) 682-6800