Meeting our Community's Needs - Neighbor to Neighbor

PRC Is Our Miracle

"PRC is our miracle"

You can tell a lot about people based on how they fare when facing adversity.  Some people give up.  Others, like Nicole and Matt, hunker down and move forward, determined to get past the hardships in their path.

Nicole was an engineering consultant for Motorola when an illness left her legally blind.  Soon after, she had a stroke, and became unable to work. The resulting stress took a toll on her marriage. Ultimately, her husband filed for divorce, and the family home was lost.

While Nicole recuperated, her teenaged son, Matt, took on the responsibility of finding them a place to live. High school took a back seat to real life as Matt searched for a basic apartment near public transportation. Three credits short of graduation, he dropped out to become the primary caretaker during his mom’s recovery.

Just when things seemed to be stabilizing, lightning struck again. Matt suffered a debilitating stroke himself.

Despite everything, they continued to look forward.

As Matt’s health improved, Nicole encouraged him to complete the GED to earn his high-school equivalency diploma. An Internet search for free GED tutoring pointed to the People’s Resource Center (PRC).

“The first time I met them, I was struck by Matt and Nicole’s dedication. Matt gets right to work the minute he arrives in the classroom. Because they travel together on public transport, Nicole waits patiently while he studies,” said Julie Wachowski, PRC’s Literacy Coordinator. “They support each other beautifully.”

Support is important because attempting the GED is a difficult undertaking. The test was revised in 2013 to meet national Common Core Standards. The test now covers material beyond what is required to graduate from high school in Illinois. These higher requirements make it more difficult to attempt to take and pass the test. In addition, it costs $30 for each module of the four module test. With the gracious support of donors like you, PRC was not only able to help Matt with tutoring, but was also able to help him financially cover the expenses for taking the tests.

Matt visits the PRC once a week as well as participating in an online review class through the College of DuPage. He has passed two of the four GED tests necessary to receive his diploma and is preparing to take the final two exams in early 2016.

“We fully expect to celebrate his graduation this spring,” says Julie. 

“We found [PRC] at a point when Matt was ready to go back to school,” said Nicole.  “PRC has made such a difference in his life.”

To watch more about Nicole and Matt, visit PRC’s YouTube Channel. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or supporting PRC’s Adult Literacy programs, please contact Maryanna Milton, Adult Learning & Literacy Coordinator at or call 630-682-5402.