Ed Is Overcoming Obstacles To Pursue His Education In Every Stage Of His Life

Life-Long Learning Jun 24, 2021

Ed’s mother saved his life by giving him CPR in 1990 when he was pinned under a car after a near-fatal accident in New York City. Ed’s mother, a registered nurse who worked with babies at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, knew that faint pulses do exist and did everything to assure her son survived until the paramedics arrived. Ed arrived at the hospital in cardiac arrest and was in a vegetative coma for a month. He spent 9 months at 3 different hospitals and during that time his mother Carolyn and his older sister Loretta were instrumental to his care and well-being.

After nine months in the hospital, and doctors giving him no hope of recovery, Ed was able to leave in a wheelchair and live with his mother. After living with his mother for three months, Ed was determined to take control of his own life, and he moved to Brooklyn, New York—leaving his wheelchair behind and using just a cane. He walked away from that accident with his life, but was considered legally blind thereafter, along with other physical and cognitive challenges.

Six months after getting his own place — more than a year after his accident — Ed left Brooklyn for Georgia and continued with his recovery.

“The accident was terrible but the most important thing about it was, it drew me closer to God and spirituality. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to go back to school on a Hope Grant and Scholarship.”

Ed continued to grow in spirituality and was determined to take control of his life and pursue a viable future. Ed is one of the last people to stay down in a tough situation. He knew he had to do something to keep his mind sharp.

“You know your brain turns to mush if you don’t use it like everything else!”

Before his accident, Ed worked as a site manager for a facilities management company that serviced law firms and investment banks. He had received his GED at age 17, and after his accident, Ed finally decided to go back to school and took up general studies at an adult education center. His instructors at the adult education center discovered he had a gift with numbers and encouraged him to apply to a local community college. He applied to a technical college in 2002. Ed decided to use his work experience as a platform and chose to study banking, finance and business management. He was inducted into the International Honor Society in 2007. In 2009, Ed’s hard work and dedication earned him the titles Honor Scholar and Laureate Scholar. Ed was also admitted to the National Dean’s List and was named Regional Vice President of the Southeastern Regional International Honor Society.

“I don’t consider myself OCD, but my grandmother Polly always stressed to do things right and to do my best. So, I strive for perfection. My whole goal is to have my own business one day.”

In 2014, when a tree fell into Ed’s house, it seemed like a sign for another change in his course of life. He opted then to move down to Florida to be near his mother, who is a dancer for the Miami Heat Golden Oldies, which is where he met his neighbor and friend Sharon, who is also a dancer.

The Pandemic Set Ed Back And GetSetUp Launched Him Forward

Photo by Timothy Hales Bennett / Unsplash

Ed, according to Sharon, was a very active member of his local community. She said,

“He was like the mayor, talking to everyone.”

That meant that the pandemic was hard on Ed initially. He said,

“When the pandemic came it was really a back step for me. After my accident, I needed to stay mobile, and exercising was very vital and really helped to further my recovery. Usually, there was a community center to work out in, but it closed because of the pandemic.”

Ed first heard about GetSetUp via the South Florida Institute on Aging (SoFIA), which gave interested members tablets with wireless internet. At an initial class for learners receiving tablets, SoFIA helped learners log on and get set up on GetSetUp.

“GetSetUp has really been a great experience for both Sharon and me. I just love learning about different things. I especially enjoy the business classes.”
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Ed has really found brushing up on his business skills a real pleasure. It’s been about 11 years since he last studied business, and he finds there is lots more to learn!

“The GetSetUp instructors are very good. You can tell they know their stuff; they aren’t just teaching theory. They give you practical experience and real information you can actually use.”

Ed has particularly enjoyed the classes on business taught by Guides Michael and Kevin.

“I took the Entrepreneurial and Small Business Terms class and I thought since I was a business manager for so many years, I would know everything. Oh my, he threw a quiz at us and I had never heard of some of the terms. I never had thought about the fact that terms evolve. Those were the same things I had always learned but now they had new terms.”
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Ed is planning to take that class again as he feels he can learn how the terms and skills he acquired as a site manager have changed. He sees these being an asset to relate to the ongoing modern business culture and to his future endeavors.

“I have learned to adjust and learn online. Because of the challenges I still face, I find online learning more gratifying.”

Many members of the GetSetUp community, like Ed, had only ever taken classes in person prior to the pandemic. However, adjusting to something new can be a fun way to expand your horizons.

“All the classes are inclusive with lots of learner participation. Classes allow you to accomplish something and be more productive. It is very gratifying and I’m grateful for the opportunities to meet so many people.”

Ed has enjoyed exploring classes outside of business as well, including cooking classes, gratitude classes, and tai chi. He’s planning to put his entrepreneurial classes on E-commerce and online selling to use as he finalizes his next business venture. In the meantime, he’s enjoying learning how to market on Facebook and to utilize Gmail effectively. He will be ready to hit the ground running as he pursues his goals.

Join Ed to explore your potential with classes with peers in a social and interactive learning community online!

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