Walt McGreevy, Adult Learning Center Volunteer
Walt moved to Lakeland in 2003 from Ohio, where he served 14 years in local law enforcement. Having run the Boston Marathon in 2002 and recently completing a trek along the Appalachian Trail, Walt continued his fitness routine after his move to central Florida and would frequently drive by Lighthouse on his long distance bike rides. It was over 4 years ago that his curiosity got the best of him and he inquired about the ministry. When Walt discovered that part of Lighthouse’s ministry involved educating and providing long-term employment for their residents through the Learning Center, he felt called to volunteer his services. “It’s a way of giving back.”
The Adult Learning Center is located within the campus, and is used to promote the value of education, one of the four Pathways to Progress. The NOVA Program (by Innovative Learning Systems) is an education and employment program designed specifically for the homeless nationwide. Its applications help to identify and assist with learning problems, adult literacy, works to improve academic skills (reading, writing and math), GED preparation and guides its students to develop the skills necessary to succeed in a professional work environment. Walt has been able to use his skills with math to help tutor the men in the program. “Algebra can be very difficult if someone has no experience. The successes mean a lot.”
Walt gave up alcohol and a reckless lifestyle at the age of 19, and his heart is focused on the men in the program. “There but for the grace of God am I sitting where you’re at.” He has built new relationships, and is making use of a grant program provided by a former employer. Walt encourages potential volunteers to check with their employers about grant programs they may offer. Sometimes a company will make donations to a charity on behalf of a employee who is putting in volunteer hours.
“It’s just a wonderful, wonderful program.”