Improving Education at Fortune

Improving Education at Fortune


With support from teachers in Fortune’s Education program, participants have the opportunity to develop essential reading, writing, math and digital skills. Participants have varying goals, from acquiring basic literacy skills, earning a High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma, preparation for employment or a desire to pursue higher education. 

“We’re really open in our program,” said Danielle, a teacher at The Fortune Society. “Some people want an HSE, some just want to read better.”

Students attend courses in an 11-week cycle throughout the year in a hybrid learning environment with some remote classes. However, flexibility is key in The Fortune Society’s Education program: every student is welcome to learn at their own pace. Past students have come to classes for a month, others do the program for years. 

“Everybody is an individual, everyone’s different,” said Danielle.

Standard school topics are taught in class, but our qualified teachers try to incorporate material that may not appear in the curriculum or textbooks but that students may find engaging. Danielle’s first curriculum for Fortune covered Black scientists and Black inventors throughout history, and since then, her classes have discussed things like the Tulsa Race Massacre, mental health issues, and the first black chief of the United States Army Nurse Corps, Hazel Johnson. By building a learning environment rooted in discussion and critical thinking, our students feel more prepared for tests like the exam to receive their HSE diploma.  

Covering these interesting topics presents an engaging environment, but taking the test to receive an HSE can still be stressful. This is especially true for students who feel a lot of pressure to perform well in order to receive their HSE, which is often a requirement for getting a job and supporting their loved ones. Practice tests are issued every few weeks to get students acclimated with test-taking while simultaneously gauging their progress.  

Alongside teachers like Danielle, Fortune also has multiple tutors to help students prepare and relieve test-taking anxiety. These tutors assist in classes and work with students one on one to further build confidence in what they’ve learned. 

Many use their HSE to get a job or certification, but some students wish to pursue higher education. The Fortune Society refers students to John Jay College in Manhattan through an initiative program. If they do enroll at John Jay at the program’s conclusion, they are then eligible to obtain credit hours towards their degree.  

Whether students take classes to get an HSE or just to learn more, the Fortune Society’s Education program is for students of all levels pursuing different goals. For more information on our Education program, visit our services page. 

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