‘It May Be Hard … But I Won’t Quit’
Delicia Braxton won’t tell you that coming back to school was easy, but she will tell you that with the kindness and concern from her instructor and Byte Back staff, she is reaching her goals, in education and in life.
Delicia took a computer class back in high school, but wanted to continue learning more about computers. She faced difficulties and overcame a tragic car accident, which damaged her long-term memory but never lost her interest in pursuing an education in computers.
When Opportunity Knocks, Open the Door
While at her doctor’s office, Delicia saw an ad for a Byte Back computer class.
“This is my time to take a computer class,” she said to herself. She couldn’t wait to get out of the doctor’s office to call Byte Back and sign up for an open house. On that day, Delicia arrived 30 minutes early because she didn’t want to miss the opportunity.
She took three assessments – reading, computer literacy, and MS Word 2010 – and passed all three. Then came the admissions interview. She was nervous, but you could hear in her voice that she was determined to be in the Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC3) class.
‘I Won’t Quit’
Even though it had been a while since Delicia was in a computer class, that wasn’t going to stop her from enrolling in IC3.
She was extremely happy once she found out that she was accepted into the program. “It may be hard, but once I start something, I won’t quit – this is not in my vocabulary,” she said.
Her dedication to class was obvious – she arrived on time, asked questions during class, and stayed after to study and take practice tests.
When the time came for the first certification test, she was confident. Unfortunately, she didn’t pass. She took the second test in the series of three and again didn’t pass.
Help to Succeed
The Byte Back team, including her IC3 tutor and Byte Back graduate Ellen Bredt, realized that she needed extra help to succeed. Together, Delicia and the Byte Back staff researched ways to accommodate her needs.
Meanwhile, Delicia wasn’t sitting back just waiting and hoping. She had tutoring sessions with Ellen six hours per week, made flash cards, stayed late, and kept studying at home. After several weeks of research, paperwork, and waiting for official word, an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) policy was accepted for Byte Back, and Delicia was able to retake the certification tests.
Hard Work Pays Off
Armed with the tutoring sessions and ADA accommodations, Delicia took the first test. This time, she passed, scoring 100 points above the passing grade!
Within three weeks, she had passed the last two exams with even higher grades. She is very grateful to the Byte Back team, because, she says, everyone around her cares about her success.
Delicia didn’t just open opportunities for herself. Because of her struggle, determination, and perseverance, other Byte Back students with disabilities will have an easier path to receiving needed ADA testing accommodations. This will have impact on many after her.
After IC3, Delica enrolled in the Microsoft Office Specialist in Excel course at Byte Back and passed her certification exam the first time! Delicia is planning to use the technology skills she learned from the “Living Online” section of IC3 to launch her own blog, featuring her original poetry. She also plans to pursue more computer education in Byte Back’s A+ Certification Program.
While she doesn’t lack self-determination, she’s also grateful to those who helped her on this path. “The people who helped me at [Byte Back IT Academy] feel like part of my family now,” she says. “It’s been an unforgettable experience.”
“Because I am not going to fall through the cracks, I have the energy and the need to make sure nobody else does either.” Delicia’s tutor, Ellen Bredt, was unemployed and being tossed around the system, and then she found Byte Back. Read her story >>
Delicia graduated in Winter 2015 and received warm congratulations from Byte Back Executive Director Elizabeth Lindsey (photo left).
She is now pushing herself to try something new and challenging as a community volunteer instructor at Byte Back. She is finding that teaching PC for Beginners at a DC Public Library is a most rewarding experience!