Founder’s Note

A Note From Our Founder:

I remember the first time I stepped into my math class of adult learners; I didn’t know what to expect. Who were these adults who had returned to classes to earn their High School Equivalency diplomas?

After years of teaching, I can honestly say that I have never known people more dedicated to education. I continue to be awed by my students’ sheer grit and their tireless efforts to overcome the multiple barriers that threaten to crush their educational aspirations. I got to know the students who come to class without breakfast in order to pay the subway fare and young mothers who give up precious time with their children to face the mathematics they had not been taught in high

school. I still marvel at the students who arrive in class dead tired after a night shift. I came to know many adult students who face homelessness and hunger. But still they come to class. Still they learn. Their stories are simultaneously heartbreaking and inspiring because these adult students are trying to save their lives.

There are many reasons adults need a second chance to earn their high school diplomas: death of a parent at an early age, the need to work to support families, early parenthood, childhood illness, inadequate and dangerous schools, and little access to education, particularly for girls, in the countries they grew up in. And all arrive in adult education classes woefully underprepared academically, mainly as a result of deep poverty. Yet it is amazing how many of these students “catch fire” in the process of continuing their education. They thrive. They change their ideas about themselves. They become students. Many begin to dream of college.

 Unfortunately their dreams of college are too seldom realized. Only 6% of those who earn HSE diplomas make it through one year of college. The principal reason is financial. Most simply do not have the money to attend college full time and complete degree programs. Jobs and families take precedent. Also, many adult students don’t have others to rely on to help them navigate their college experience and academic workload.

 That is why I founded the WithinReach Foundation—to give deserving adult learners a fighting chance at completing the higher education they might otherwise only dream about. With your help, we will award full college scholarships each year to applicants whom we believe will succeed in college and make a positive difference in their communities. WithinReach Foundation will create networking events so that these students become ambassadors to the larger adult learning community. It is within your reach to bring college education WithinReach of these amazing High School Equivalency achievers. Please help.


Jane Tarica


WithinReach Foundation, Inc.

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