Kenneth Lee Ludolph, Jr., Central
In February, Kenneth Lee Ludolph, Jr. was named as the 2019 Adult Learner of the Year by the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE), a national organization; however, his path to this high honor was filled with obstacles and challenges. Following his parents’ divorce, Kenneth dropped out of school in the 10th grade and eventually found himself in prison. Determined to do something meaningful with his life as he served time, he enrolled in a high school equivalency class, but a couple of months later, he was transferred to an Oklahoma City halfway house. When he got a job that caused him to be unable to attend a class at his new location, Susan Bernard, Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) HSE Coordinator, stepped in to tutor him, and Kenneth passed his HSE test in exactly two months. Shortly after that, Kenneth was released from the prison halfway house, and although he left prison with only one box of possessions and no family support, he began college at OCCC just three days later majoring in automotive technology. He has now completed 35 credit hours, and is working full-time in an automotive internship.
Impressed by Kenneth’s great attitude, tremendous determination, and overcoming spirit, Ms. Bernard began early on nominating Kenneth for awards culminating in his traveling to New Orleans to be presented the national Adult Learner of the Year Award and a $10,000 check from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. In the award ceremony, Kenneth reminded us of the importance of adult education when he stated, “This award adds to my motivation, knowing that other people care about my education, and it drives me to be more accomplished.”