POLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – Our retirement centers are filled with stories of successful, hard-working people who still have so much more to offer. One of those people is Jean Williams, who taught school for 47 years and is still changing lives.
Delonte Carter takes care of Jean at the Sunrise Senior Living Center in Poland. He never thought she would be the key to his future.
Delonte graduated from Chaney in 2011. Working as an aide at Sunrise, he dreamed of something more.
“I knew with such a compassionate heart and such a drive to serve our residents, that nursing would be perfect for him,” said Kerry Collins, director at Sunrise Senior Living.
But there was an obstacle.
“I was just terrified,” Delonte said. “Especially with math. Math was very, very tough for me in high school.”
When he failed the math portion of the nursing entrance exam, his manager at Sunrise suggested he go see Jean.
“I said, ‘Of course I’ll help you. If you’re willing to study and if you can stand up to this old lady because I’m tough,'” Jean said.
For two hours before and after work, she tutored Delonte all summer.
“He has the brain power. Somewhere along the way, someone must’ve told him he couldn’t do it,” she said.
Jean is a lifelong educator and tutor, teaching every grade from kindergarten to graduate level. And don’t let the smile fool you — when it’s time to study, she’s all business.
“We study in two-hour blocks, without interruptions. No phones, no TV, no distractions,” she said.
Jean didn’t have any doubt Delonte would pass the entrance exam the second time around.
“I knew he could do it. Somewhere along the way, someone told him he couldn’t do it,” she said. “I’m here to tell you there is nothing he can’t accomplish. His future is so bright, I’m going to need my Foster Grants to look at him.”
Jean doesn’t charge for tutoring but she does ask for two things — that they pay it forward and for the corners of their diplomas.
“I used to have a little jar with all the corners in it.”
Delonte will start nursing school soon, thanks to the passion of this week’s Hometown Hero.