LIFT Launches National GED Curricula


In August, LIFT launched Aztec Learning System curricula for its High School Equivalency (HSE) adult learners.  LIFT volunteer teachers and staff were trained on the new curricula over the summer in preparation for the fall semester.

The new curricula are aligned with state and national standards and ensure that LIFT’s adult learners have all the tools they need to be successful when completing Texas high school equivalency exams.  The curricula cover levels ranging from upper elementary through twelfth grade—Foundations, Pre-HSE, and GED Prep—and are deployed in an integrated classroom setting for the majority of LIFT students. 

The introduction of curricula that meet national and new state adult learning standards was accompanied by new registration processes to ensure adults are placed in the appropriate class level for both math and language arts.  Through generous funding from The Moody Foundation student workbooks are being developed to accompany the curricula. 

Thank you to all the donors who helped fund the new HSE curricula implementation, including:

  • The Moody Foundation
  • The Hillcrest Foundation
  • The Celanese Foundation
  • The Dollar General Literacy Foundation
  • The Rosemary Haggar Vaughan Family Foundation
  • Temple Emanu-El (Social Justice Council)

LIFT is grateful for all the generous donors who support the literacy programs at LIFT throughout the year.


Photos: (Left to Right) HSE Director Karen Medlock and HSE Coordinator Schneil Clark-Dunn train HSE volunteer teachers on the new Aztec Learning System Curricula.  HSE Students hear about the new curriculum during student orientation.

Get Involved With Toast to Literacy

Donations are still needed for the 6th annual Toast to Literacy auction on Friday, September 14th, 2018! Event tickets, gift cards, artwork, jewelry, and other luxury goods, services, & experiences are all welcome donations. Specifically, we are looking for a “Night Out in the Big D” raffle basket, which could contain tickets for dinner, a show, or other fun activities for adults. We also need donations for a “Family Night” raffle basket, which could contain movie tickets, games, food, and tickets for fun family experiences such as amusement and theme parks. If you choose to donate, you will not only be provided with a special marketing opportunity for your business name and services, but you also are helping to achieve LIFT’s goal of empowering many low-literate North Texas adults.

Toast to Literacy is one of LIFT’s largest funding sources and helps change the lives of thousands. Held at the Omni Dallas Hotel on September 14th, 2018, special guests will include Sharon Anderson Wright, President and CEO of Half Price Books, as the event co-chair, as well as Larry James, CEO of CitySquare, as the key-note speaker. Larry is best known as a social entrepreneur, servant leader, and most recently, the author of the book House Rules: Considerations for Leaders. Guests will be treated to dinner and dancing, and get to participate in a silent auction. This night out will be fun, informative, and will offer a unique opportunity to be a part of something bigger. For more information, please visit or, or contact Dan Thompson, LIFT’s Chief Development Officer at or 214-824-2000.

This article was written by Simran Misra, a girl scout from troop 2601 who spent a day job shadowing our marketing director Kate Hoffman.


Student Spotlight: Portia

Meet Portia.


Portia came to LIFT in May of 2017 hoping to make a change. She received her diploma when she finished high school in Baltimore, Maryland, but because of her limited reading ability she says, “I was too embarrassed to hang up my diploma. I was ashamed to tell someone I graduated”.

Many other adult learning programs turned Portia down when she sought help with reading because she already had her GED. These organizations offered GED prep classes and were unable to offer a customized learning experience for someone like Portia who needed additional instruction in a specific area. Unlike other organizations, LIFT has the curriculum and training to offer instruction to all adults at every level.

New to Dallas, Portia found herself on the Opportunity Center campus seeking the social security office last year. By mistake she discovered the LIFT office and was overjoyed by the welcome she received: “The people there (at LIFT) have a heart, they have a passion for teaching. You can see it in their face.”

Portia was placed in the SEE 1 program upon admission. She spent 3 full days a week in classes and tutoring while continuing to work as a home health nurse’s assistant full-time. She spent so much time at LIFT, HSE Coordinator Karen Medlock joked that she may as well bring her bed with her. For 13 months Portia attended LIFT classes and participated in career-development workshops, each day getting closer to her educational goals. When asked about her time at LIFT Portia said, “I’m a living witness – if you have a desire to learn this is the place to come.”

Working in health care has been Portia’s dream come true. She has the privilege of making a difference in people’s lives, which she says, “is the beauty of life.” But, another dream of hers has been to go to college. With support from her teachers at LIFT, Portia took the TABE exam required for college admission and passed! Now she is attending community college to become a certified phlebotomist and EKG technician.  Because of her dedication and investment in her own education, Portia is gaining new skills so that she may increase her own impact on the lives of people in our community.  

“Now that I have been at LIFT I can finally put my diploma up on the wall. I’ve come a long way.”