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QUINCY ADULT LITERACY SUCCESS STORY- The life of Dave O’Connell 2013 - ABE Graduate

Back in 1969, the year Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first two men to walk on the moon, I was born. Back in 1977, the King of Rock and Roll - Elvis Presley - died, my parents divorced and my roller coaster ride of life began.

From 1977 to 1987, I made history myself by attending two dozen schools, before I was told ‘drop out of the vocational school voluntarily or get transferred to the local high school.’ During that time in my life and at the age of 16, I had my first big decision to make. I had to choose between continuing my education and working to support my family. I chose work. I had already made several attempts to acquire my GED. However, I was unsuccessful in doing so.

Fast forward and at age 43, I finally found a school that welcomed me and made me feel like I was wanted, appreciated and respected. To me, TRA not only stands for “Training Resource of America”, but I believe it also stands for “To Really Achieve”. The ABE Program at TRA helped me with my self-esteem and gave me confidence to succeed, not only at school but in life.

I am now enrolled at Quincy College. I hope to improve my writing skills so I can complete my book, and secondly, get educated to help others who had challenging lives. I aspire to become the voice for those who have endured many challenges and difficulties in their lives. Through the trials and tribulations I have encountered in my life, it would be a great feeling to impact those who have suffered like I have. I have been told that I am a positive and energetic motivational speaker. That inspired me to become a member of RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network organization), which is located in Washington, D.C. Through this organization, I am able to speak to those who have had many difficulties in their lives, offering support and advice.

I believe that I have achieved, because I never quit. These are the rules that I live by:

1. “Everything happens for a reason and there is a reason everything happens.”
2. “You are the only one that needs to believe in you.”

Thanks TRA!
Dave O’Connell

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