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The Bridges We Build

By Jessica Edmiston, Executive Director, E. H. Gentry Facility

4 students seated at desks. A teacher leans over one of the students pointing to a line in the textbook.When it comes to the bridge between high school and postsecondary pursuits, E. H. Gentry Facility (EHG) students are only confined by their imaginations. “With our College Preparation and Dual Enrollment programs, EHG can serve as a bridge for students who are transitioning from high school to college, or who have been out of high school for an extended amount of time and have decided to pursue an advanced degree,” explained EHG Transition Coordinator Edith Kelley.

EHG, a division of Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB), partners with Central Alabama Community College and Gadsden State Community College to provide opportunities for students to take short-term, certificate-based classes or pursue associate’s degrees. Tutoring and academic remediation are provided, and students can participate in additional specialized classes in braille, orientation and mobility, assistive technology and independent living.

 Hareem Averite and Steve Dickerson examine a jacket designed by Hareem.

"We appreciate the partnership between the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) and AIDB,” said Kathleen Jones, Central Alabama Regional Director of Adult Education. “The Adult Education program, funded in part by the ACCS Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act grant, is truly making a difference in the lives of the students it serves. We are so proud of their accomplishments."

“College Preparation prepared me for college in a great way,” said Benjamin Aust, EHG student. “It allowed me to get an understanding as to what to expect from instructors and classroom accommodations. The Dual Enrollment program has supported me while attending college by allowing me to get help with a college assignment from EHG Instructors.”

EHG has also partnered with Talladega College to establish an Entrepreneurship Program for students. During the six-week program, participants will complete modules related to business basics, innovation, problem-solving strategies, and the development of a viable business.

“One of my goals is to expand my brand and business as far as it can go,” explained EHG student Hareem Averitte when talking about launching his clothing line, Blind Limitless. “I want to be the best entrepreneur that I can be for myself, my family and my communities.”