HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - "The math was mainly my problem," said Vikki Harley.
After years of intermittent classes Vikki says the numbers are finally falling into place.
"I'm gonna be 60-years-old and I've been trying to get this elusive GED," she said.
Vikki's dropped out of school in her teens, to care for her siblings when her mom died.
"Having a lot of brothers and sisters, being the oldest one, I couldn't go to school," she explained.
Vikki says she was focused on survival.
"I worked 3 jobs, cleaning floors, doing anything that was legal," Vikki added.
Now that she's focused on schoolwork, she's counting successes.
"I got the other day an award for math. I called every brother and sister I have. 'Guess who got an award?' They said 'Who?' I said 'Me!' They couldn't believe it," Vikki said.
Vikki credits twice weekly classes at Mount Vernon Adult Education Center.
"People there take the GED and they pass it because they don't let you go until you know it," she said.
She says the small staff is patient and persistent.
"They don't ever say you should know this. Let's sit down, let's go over this again," Vikki said. "They work, and work with you. They don't hassle you. They're just a bunch of lovely people."
And Vikki gives extra credit to the coordinator Sandra Jackson Allsbrook.
"We can think outside the box, and you don't have to worry that I can't read as well as you. We all have deficits, we all have weaknesses, but we all have strengths," said Allsbrook. "Take that knowledge and that wisdom that they bring to us and run with it."
"All the things she's doing for us we really do appreciate it," Vikki said.
Vikki wanted to pay it forward.
SABRINA: "$100, $200, $300."
VIKKI: "Thank you!"
SABRINA: "We're excited."
Vikki's used to making the short walk from her Henrico home to the church turned tier one adult education center. She made a b-line through the main office, and found a very surprised coordinator.
VIKKI: "You go into our soul, you give us faith, and you give us hope. Nobody can ask for any more than that."
SABRINA: "So we have a little token of appreciation."
VIKKI: "Yes we do. $100, $200, $300...thank you for your Act of Kindness toward all of us."
SANDRA: "I have been so blessed and empowered that you all have entrusted us with your education."
Allsbrook says after 25 years in education she especially devoted to her special senior class.
"I still have 73-year-old ladies who're getting their GED, who're taking their test. That's an inspiration to me," she said.
And she inspires her students.
"All you got to do is believe and have the right people with you, you can't go wrong," Allsbrook added.