Linda's Graduation

Linda earns her GED

It was graduation night, and the lights on the stage of Newport's Roger's High School were bright. But they were no match for the flashing eyes and beaming smile that lit up the stage as Linda Texceira accepted her diploma to the cheers of the entire auditorium.

After her four-year struggle to complete the General Education Diploma (GED) program at the Newport Adult Learning Center, Linda had certainly earned the right to bask in her personal triumph. " I really wanted to get my high school diploma," says Linda. "I was willing to do anything I had to get it."

Linda encountered plenty of obstacles upon returning to school. Linda's mother Martha says it was a challenge just finding a teacher open to working with Linda, who has cerebral palsy - a prejudice they didn't expect to face in these enlightened times.

When Linda eventually found another teacher and began her GED studies, completing her course work required creative alternatives to typical study and test taking methods. Most of her homework and some testing were done on her SHARE-provided computer.

She also took multiple choice tests using a special plexiglass eye board; to answer questions, she would look at the number on the board corresponding to the response she wished to give. And her mother was behind her, quite literally, all the way - she attended classes with Linda and took notes for her.

"She worked very, very hard," recalls her mother. "At times it got rough, but she wanted it bad enough that she stuck with it."