Success Stories

Each year we are honored to present the awards for this year's graduating class. You can't imagine how hard it is each year to pick out just one recipient as we meet so many unique and wonderful people that are deserving of the awards.
2016 Student Achievement Award: Daren Wood

The 2016 Adult Learning Center Achievement Award goes to a student who embodies the words “never give up.” He first enrolled at the Adult Learning Center at Casper College in 2011 at the age of 18. He had a lot of responsibilities for someone so young, and work and family obligations prevented him from completing his high school equivalency certificate at that time. He reenrolled in early 2015, and once again employment and family duties prevented him from continuing with his studies. In August 2015, this student returned to the ALC with a renewed commitment to completing his high school equivalency certificate.

This student was unusual, in that math came very easy for him! His struggles were with language and writing, and he went over and above to overcome his hardships in order to succeed. He attended classes, went through a screening process, and followed through with every suggestion made by faculty. In January 2016, Daren Wood completed his final test, passing all with flying colors, and that is why Daren is receiving the Adult Learning Center Achievement Award for 2016.

2015 Student Achievement Award: Mikki Roberts

The Adult Learning Center at Casper College Student Achievement Award is presented to the student who perseveres against overwhelming odds, and successfully achieves their goal of earning the High School Equivalency Credential.

This particular student returned to school after a 35-year absence. She dropped out during her 10th grade year to raise a family. She had to overcome her fears and doubts from being out of the educational system for so long. When this student first came into the center a year and a half ago, she summed up what was important to her by three simple statements: "I want to learn," "I need help," and "I work hard." We never could have imagined just how accurate these statements were!

She was very faithful in her attendance in the math and language classes, but also spent extra time to study independently in the open lab. She was very determined and didn't seem to allow failures or setbacks discourage her. She showed us time and again her willingness to complete the work we asked her to do that would give her the success she was after.

Even though she would say things like, "I don't think I'm going to pass," or "I'm not ready yet," she was always open to whatever curriculum or strategy we threw her way. She always responded with, "OK, I'll try." She utilized every learning option we had to offer.

While this student was raising a special needs granddaughter, she made the effort to work diligently and overcome her math and language challenges. Her effort and commitment have made her successful in passing the High School Equivalency Test. We are very proud of you, Mikki Roberts for what you have accomplished.

2016 Student of the Year: Jordan Crow

Sometimes a student comes along at the Adult Learning Center at Casper College that stands out as a special individual who has made a way into our hearts. This particular student first walked through our doors in 2009, in 2012 and again in 2015. In this case, the fourth time was the charm! We saw a distinct change in this person. At first, she was fairly quiet and shy, had difficulty attending class, and had some obstacles to overcome. But over time we witnessed growth and maturity to where she became a different person.

This individual has always been a hard worker. Over the years, when she was devoting herself to raising a family, she would always work at entry-level positions to make ends meet. Even when she worked a late or night shift, she consistently showed up to class. When she finally put her mind to completing, she was a quick learner, stayed organized, and made great gains academically.

This year our Adult Learning Center Student of the Year was able to complete her high school equivalency with flying colors! She immediately upgraded her employment to a management position at a local dealership in the community. She may eventually go on to further her education at Casper College in addictionology or possibly in the nursing field.

The thing that made this student stand out in our minds was her consistent, positive attitude in class, and her sweet personality. She moved out of her comfort zone to encourage and help other classmates in their own journey. The ALC staff proudly recognizes Jordan Crow as the Adult Learning Center 2016 Student of the Year!

2015 Student of the Year: Wade Neal

The person selected as the 2015 Adult Learning Center at Casper College Student of the Year has overcome unbelievable obstacles to get to this graduation today, but we were unaware of them until he had received his High School Equivalency Certificate. He was one of the most positive, thoughtful, considerate students we've had the privilege to know, and he made the classroom a better place for all of us by his presence.

This student learned to read at the age of 22, when he and his dad took a class at the lumber mill where they both worked. He had managed to make it through 10th grade without knowing how to read, and he was an "A" and "B" student! Amazing!

Due to his many skills, he was employed with high-paying union jobs until the age of 35, when a crane fell on him and ended his bridge building career. He came to Wyoming where he worked at remodeling homes and businesses, until his doctor told him after his third heart attack that he needed to find a new, less physically demanding career.

After researching employment, he learned he could not secure a decent job without his high school equivalency certificate, and that's when he came to the Adult Learning Center at Casper College at the advice of his vocational rehabilitation counselor. He enrolled in November, 2014, took a pretest, and learned he needed at least 50 hours of study time to be able to complete his goal. He willingly put in over three times that number of hours, both in the classroom and online, and completed his high school equivalency with great scores, even on his written essay, which he reported was his least favorite task!

Wade Neal has not let any of the hurdles put in his way dampen his goals and dreams. He has a "can do" attitude toward any new endeavor, and he was a joy to teach and an inspiration to us all. It is with great honor that we present this year's Adult Learning Center at Casper College Student of the Year Award to Wade Neal.