Turning Point was created for adults in the community interested in pursuing a GED, obtaining remedial education in preparation for college, or receiving computer training for career advancement.
The program meets from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The morning session is three hours of computer instruction, which includes an introduction to the computer and instruction in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Power Point. Students also receive lessons on how to navigate and conduct research on the Internet. During the afternoon session, the adults practice basic English and math skills, including preparation for the high school equivalency examination, if needed. Other activities scheduled for the afternoon include résumé writing, mock interviews, public speaking assignments, and group and individual counseling. Turning Point staff also work with students after hours on job placement and post-placement support. We collaborate with other organizations to offer opportunities to those most in need. Our success has been dramatic. Last year 100 percent of our graduates found meaningful employment, entered the Armed Forces, went on to further education and/or earned their GED.
Adult education and training programs are critical at a time when many of East Harlem's families are being denied public benefits after years of welfare dependence. Turning Point students, 90% of whom are single mothers, are in desperate need of GED training, basic skills enhancement, job readiness, and life skills training. Thanks to funding from the Pinkerton Foundation we were able to hire a caseworker who works individually with each student to make the transition from welfare to work a smoother one. The caseworker is also responsible for coordinating referrals of adult students from other community organizations.