Unlocking Success with Five Keys Charter School at MEDA

5 Keys Marlon and Ivan

Five Keys Charter School started as a way to help inmates obtain their GED. The San Francisco Sheriff’s Office wanted to provide education to inmates, so that they could be prepared for a good life once no longer incarcerated. The program later spread to organizations that were already serving the community. One of these nonprofits is MEDA, which has been providing asset building to low- and moderate-income Latinos for over four decades.

MEDA knew that the “five keys”—education, employment, recovery, family and community—would translate to success for many of its clients, so Five Keys has been invited in to serve the community from a space at Plaza Adelante.

The first step for a client is filling out an enrollment packet. Five Keys Charter School then analyzes transcripts to tailor a GED program to the individual.

“Some students need a number of credits in math, so we focus on that. Some need just a few credits. Taking our course and working can also get you credits. Five Keys Charter School figures this out and comes up with a plan for the client,” explains GED instructor Marlon Altan (photo, left).

The majority of the work is done at home, as this is deemed an Independent Study Program (ISP), although Altan ensures that students know he is always there for them. This includes helping the client learn strategies for passing the GED test.

Anyone 18 years of age and up qualifies for the free GED program at Five Keys Charter School. ESL students may take part, too.

As a bonus, Five Keys has also sent Ivan Hurtado (photo, right) to the Plaza Adelante Tech Center lab to teach Basic Digital Literacy (BDL) and to oversee open lab time. Hurtado will advise his BDL clients that the GED program is there for them, if anyone has such a need.

For any BDL participants that want to take ESL classes, Marlon will be teaching these sessions, further helping the community.

“Any day I can help someone get their educational path back on track is a great day!” sums up Altan.


Do you need your GED? Call Marlon @ (415) 282-3334 ext. 177.



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