LIVERMORE FALLS — Nickey Gower never thought she would be a college student. Now, she’s the first one is her family.

“My family is so proud,” the Livermore Falls resident said.

Gower said the support, assistance and caring received while working toward a high school diploma in the RSU 73 Adult and Community Education program gave her the confidence to attend Central Maine Community College in Auburn.

“Sometimes students don’t think about college, then they are successful earning a GED or diploma,” said Eileen Miazga, director of the adult education program at the former Livermore Falls High School. If anyone really wants to attend college, there are programs to help, she said.

Starting Jan. 29, the College Transitions program begins at the adult education center. Participants attend from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays for 12 weeks.

Those who complete the program will earn one college credit that can be applied at CMCC. The program teaches participants how to be a college student, provides instruction in math, technology and English, and takes students to college campuses to see what they’re like. Miazga said eight students have enrolled.

College Ready is a 12-week program to help improve basic skills needed for college success. Students learn the fundamentals of how to write an essay, math skills and other basic subjects. Miazga said 15 students have signed up.

She said not everyone needs both program, it depends on where a student may be academically and socially.

Michelle Guillaume, adult education English and social studies instructor, and director of the College Transitions program, said she is impressed with Gower’s progress.

“She is doing a remarkable job,” Guillaume said.

Gower said when she began working on her high school diploma, she could call the instructors for assistance or to make up work.

“They were always there to help, and would give me rides, if needed,” she said.

Miazga said Gower was one of the first students in the program when she began as RSU 73 adult education director. Linda Davis, the career and technology instructor, has also been a great help to Gower.

Whether working toward a diploma, or going on to college, Gower said the adult education program people are always there.

“You just have to ask,” she said.

Gower is in her second semester at CMCC. She is taking two online courses and one live one. She hasn’t decided whether she’ll major in culinary arts or human services.

Giving her encouragement is her husband, Dana, she said.

“He’s wicked supportive,” she said.

The couple are the parents of a 17-year-old son who attends Spruce Mountain High School and a 10-year-old daughter who is home schooled.

Anyone in the RSU 73 area interested in enrolling College Transitions or College Ready programs, which are free, may call Guillaume at 897-6384.


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