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Three Harford Community College students recently demonstrated their leadership and communication skills while expanding awareness among state and federal legislators of the importance of literacy and adult developmental education programs.

Harford GED graduate and current HCC psychology major Hailee Domich, along with representatives from the Maryland Association for Adult, Community and Continuing Education (MAACCE), attended the “Capitol Hill Day” event last month in Washington, D.C. Hailee had the opportunity to meet with staff from the offices of Rep. John Delaney, Senator Chris Van Hollen, and Senator Ben Cardin, advocating for continued support for Adult Education and Family Literacy. The U.S. Senate went on to unanimously pass a resolution declaring the week of September 25-29 as National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week.

The “Capitol Hill Day” visit was part of the Educate and Elevate Campaign, a collaboration of the Commission of Adult Basic Education and the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education. It dovetailed with efforts for Adult Education and Family Literacy Week 2017, sponsored by the National Coalition for Literacy, to increase the public’s understanding and awareness of the need to support adult literacy, increase federal funding, and leverage local funds.

According to census information provided on the MAACCE website, 8,404 adults lack a high school diploma in Harford County alone. Further, 9.1% of Harford County’s young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 do not have a high school diploma, calling attention to the importance of these initiatives.

In related events, Harford Community College students Mai Tran and Mi Nam Sherman joined MAACCE board members to meet Maryland’s First Lady Yumi Hogan in Annapolis recently to receive a proclamation declaring September 24-30 Adult Education and Family Literacy (AEFL) Awareness Week. Mai Tran, originally from Vietnam and studying to pass her GED this year through the College’s Division of Continuing and Community Education Adult Literacy Program, was proud to share with First Lady Hogan that she had earned her citizenship in mid-September. Mi Nam Sherman, who attended college in Korea for two years, is currently in a multi-level ESL course at HCC that meets twice a week as she works to improve her reading and writing skills in preparation for a career in cosmetology.

MAACCE is a nonprofit organization providing leadership for those interested in advancing education as a lifelong process and encourages organizations and agencies in Maryland to cooperate in a broad spectrum of educational programs and activities in support of the lifelong learning concept.

For more information on the Adult Literacy Program at Harford Community College, please call 443-412-2160 or email literacy@harford.edu.

Photo caption: Pictured from left to right at “Capitol Hill Day” in Washington, D.C., September 27, are: Elizabeth Mosser, Director for Academic Operations and Services, Harford Community College; Hailee Domich, student at Harford Community College; Sam Vega, GED graduate of Allegheny Community College; and Melanie Chapman, MAACCE board member.

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