When Rose was in high school in the late 1960s, her classmates made fun of and belittled her in front of her peers because she struggled with reading. Rose, who has a moderate cognitive disability, had no special education program to turn to at her school.
The public ridicule Rose faced became too much for her to bear, and she dropped out of high school. The decision was one of the hardest choices she made in her life and one that broke her heart.
Despite her early setback, Rose never gave up on her love for learning or on her dream of one day going back to school to earn her high school diploma. Eventually, with her sister’s help, she began receiving services from Trinity.
It was Trinity staff who helped her to go back to school through attending evening classes at Joliet Township High School. They ensured she made it to classes and gave her the supports she needed to have a successful experience.
Earlier this year, at the age of 66, Rose attained her lifelong goal of receiving her high school diploma. Now, she is more passionate about education than ever before.
“If you quit — it doesn’t matter what age you are — go back and get your diploma or GED,” Rose said. “That’s most important. I am very proud of myself for going back.
“I cried when they told me I graduated.”
Rose’s favorite subject in school was cooking. She frequently cooks for herself and for anyone who visits her at her apartment. She makes meals and desserts from scratch, and with the skills she acquired from completing her high school education, she hopes to write and publish her own cookbook.
When asked what she was most proud of in her life other than receiving her high school diploma, Rose said it was simply helping other people — whether through her volunteer position at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center or through consoling friends when they are going through hard times. With your help, we are able to assist people like Rose to realize their dreams and live life to the fullest.
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