Willing and ABLE to further her education and career

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
Teresa Toller spends every weekday morning at London ABLE, preparing for college. She has been accepted at Clark State Community College, where she will start work this fall on a two-year associate’s degree in medical assisting.

(Posted Feb. 15, 2017)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Teresa Toller has spent most of her working life in the medical field. She recently worked at Champaign Residential, caring for people with disabilities in their homes, and holds a phlebotomy certification, allowing her to draw blood from patients for testing, transfusions and other blood services.

About her career, the London resident said, “I’ve always wanted to take it a step further.”

Toller’s goal is to work in a doctor’s office, scheduling appointments, giving shots, drawing blood, taking vitals. To achieve that goal, she needs a medical assisting degree, which means enrolling in college. Toller, 42, earned her GED in 2000.

Thanks to a referral from Madison County Job and Family Services, she discovered a free, convenient and comprehensive way to prepare for college—ABLE.

ABLE (Adult Basic Literacy Education) provides a wide range of education services, whether you’re looking to improve your reading, writing and math skills, increase your computer literacy, prepare for the GED test, secure a better job, or get ready to go to college. Classes are free to eligible adults.

Toller enrolled at the London ABLE site, 179 N. Main St., in December, primarily to brush up on her math skills. She worked at her own pace, using books and computer lessons, asking Lynne Alexander, director, for guidance along the way.

Last month, Toller took the college entrance exam and did well. She starts a two-year associate’s degree in medical assisting Aug. 21 at Clark State Com-munity College. She credits ABLE and her willingness to push herself for making it happen.

“The atmosphere her at ABLE is very friendly and caring. I would recommend it to anybody out there,” she said.

Toller continues to maintain her ABLE routine—spending four hours every morning, Monday through Friday, boosting her skills in all subject areas. She is focusing now on language, the one part of the college entrance exam where her scores were a bit lower than she would have liked.

“Even once I’m at Clark State, if I want extra help, I can still come back to ABLE and its free,” she said.

Toller has four children, including three grown sons and a teenaged daughter at home. She said she is motivated by her daughter and the memory of her husband who passed away unexpectedly in 2015.

“It’s one more reason why I push for a better life for me and my daughter. It’s just the idea that life is too short. If you want it, there’s no better time than now,” she said.

Toller’s daughter is following in her mother’s footsteps. She is pre-registered to study pre-nursing at Tolles Career and Technical Center starting this fall.

To learn more about the services ABLE offers, call the London location at (740) 506-0207 or the Plain City location (housed at Tolles, 7877 U.S. Route 42 South) at (614) 873-6909.

In addition to the services already mentioned, ABLE offers free classes on healthy eating through OSU Extension’s SNAP-Ed program. Also, Adecco holds open interviews, primarily for jobs at Stanley Electric, at the London ABLE site every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon.

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