A push to reach those in New Haven who never finished high school

NEW HAVEN -- Nearly 60 vendors and colleges took part in the roll out of the New Haven Adult and Continuing Education Center’s “No Excuses” campaign on Thursday.

“In our city, 30 percent of our citizens don’t read on grade level,” said Michelle Bonora, Principal of NH Adult Ed. “And one out of five do not have a high school diploma.”

As a follow-up to this event, there will be a boots on the ground recruiting component.

“Right at the end of August, early September, it’s back to school season,” she said. “We are going to be taking our entire staff, hitting the streets, door-to-door, local businesses, barbershops, nail salons.”

Among those attending the fair were current students enrolled in the program.

“I had a child, my first child, in 10th grade,” explained Tracey Massey of New Haven.

So, she decided it would be best for her to raise her own child, so she left school. Then, more children came along. But, some 30 years later, she’s about to experience something magical.

“I will be graduating on June 7, 2019, with my last child, that will be graduating from Amistad High,” Massey said. “And, I’m looking forward to graduating from Adult Ed.”

One single father back in school, said he was inspired to return to school by his son, who is in fifth grade.

“We do homework together,” said a proud Demetrius Graham of New Haven. “We go to the library. We read. We take out books together and things like that. Everything we do, he’s right there by my side."

And New Haven Adult Ed wants more stories like those.

“Come back to school,” said Bonora. “We can help you. We’re here to make your dreams.