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FCCJ Professor Shares Special Bond with Students

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Once an adult high school student herself, Professor Roberta Thomas of Florida Community College at Jacksonville has dedicated her career to teaching adult high school and GED instruction.

Roberta Thomas's resumé is a glowing example of success and determination for anyone who feels somehow not "good enough" to be a success because they have dropped out of high school, or because they "only have a GED" as opposed to a regular high-school diploma.

Because getting her Florida High School Diploma opened so many doors for her, Roberta shared her wealth of knowledge by dedicating her career to Adult Education. Her resumé is three pages long and includes lists of projects, presentations, workshops and committees in which she involved herself in promoting the GED testing program.

Roberta has a special empathy for students with children, having raised a total of 12 (a combination of her own two, stepchildren from a new husband in 1971, and children she had with her husband). Although she never had more than seven living at home at one time, it's hard for many adults with only one or two children to imagine returning to school. Roberta did it several times, advancing her degrees and her positions to a full professorship.

She understands how older students, returning students, or students with children feel trying to make ends meet, or find time to study. Her compassion extends to chairing a "Thanksgiving Basket" program for three years and her support of BEAKS, a local program that provides safety and care to injured birds.

Her very significant contribution of a life dedicated to teaching, assisting, counseling, listening and nurturing students into becoming graduates and productive members of society is in itself a reward to her—a pretty impressive statement, and it all started passing the GED and receiving the Florida High School Diploma.

For more information on Florida Community College, visit www.fccj.edu.