Milly Conklin

Milly Conklin, who was featured last January as one of our homepage success stories, was chosen as the recipient of the 2019 Beacon of Hope Award at Harford County’s Families of Hope “Celebration of Hope” ceremony on November 2, 2018.

Families of Hope is a seven-week public awareness campaign and fundraiser that was created to shine a positive light on the many local families and individuals who are facing financial hardships due to difficult life circumstances, but who are trying to regain or achieve economic self-sufficiency with help from The SUCCESS Project.

Participants in the campaign are nominated in recognition of their achievements, upbeat attitudes, and the inspiration they give others by remaining determined to improve their situations.  Each nominee raises funds and receives a small stipend towards a personal economic goal, with The SUCCESS Project receiving the rest to continue providing services, guidance, and training to those struggling to support their families.

Despite enduring hardships and facing tough challenges along the way, Milly Conklin’s determination to succeed pushed her to create the life she imagined for herself. Milly recently earned her GED and is currently taking classes here at Harford with the goal of earning her associate degree in special education. Milly appreciates the help she has received from the adult literacy teachers and staff and would like to pay it forward by assisting others in their educational endeavors. Since Milly herself has a learning disability, she understands what it takes to overcome that disability and the struggles that come with it. In addition to being a special education teacher, Milly and the other Families of Hope nominees hope to start a nonprofit organization focusing on helping other women who find themselves in similar situations as the “Families of Hope” women.

Congratulations, Milly! You deserve this amazing recognition!

Pictured (above): Harford Community College staff Rhonda Davis, Transition Specialist; Jung Franza, Intake Specialist; student Milly Conklin, 2018 Families of Hope Award Recipient; Beth Johnson, Math Instructor who nominated Milly; and Jessie Thompson, Instructional Specialist

Original Story: January 12, 2018

New Program at Harford Community College to Help GED Students

Milly Conklin found the “Tools for Success” program to be exactly what she had been seeking to move her life forward in a new, positive direction. “It makes me want to succeed in life . . . and gives me the motivation I need to keep going.”

Harford Community College’s Adult Developmental and Literacy Program is pleased to announce a new workshop entitled “Tools for Success in Education” for students to prepare themselves for Adult Basic Education courses and a General Educational Development (GED®) diploma. In the workshop, students learn how to set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) goals. Students establish action plans for their goals as well as develop skills in note-taking and study strategies so they can succeed in class and persist toward obtaining their GED. The workshop meets 90 minutes a week for four to eight weeks while students build learning communities to help each other navigate the demands of being a student and balancing their lives.

Milly Conklin is a perfect example of the target audience for the program. Milly has found “Tools for Success” to be exactly what she had been seeking to push her life forward in a new, positive direction. Due to the undiagnosed ADD that affected her childhood and adult life, her best efforts were not enough to prevent her from dropping out of school in 10th grade, enduring job losses over the years, and, despite three wonderful adult daughters, a stepdaughter, and several grandchildren, going through various hardships that left her reeling. This past year was particularly difficult in that she lost her job and her home, and has been going through a divorce. With no income and her unemployment ending in March 2018, things were looking bleak. However, times turned around when a new friend she met through an Al-Anon group encouraged her to get her GED and get back on track with her life. “Tools for Success in Education” has afforded Milly a new “can-do” outlook. She says, “This course not only helps me with the basics, but it also helps push me to see my potential.” Her strong faith has also contributed to her determination to succeed and achieve her goals. Milly says the “Tools for Success” program has been excellent in helping with the basics for her pre-GED work, and equally important, the encouragement and support that are critical for her to keep going. At the direction of her instructor, Rhonda Davis, Transition Specialist at Harford Community College, Milly has also created a “vision board” to help her visualize her hopes, dreams, and goals for the future. She refers to it frequently, particularly in moments of self-doubt. She has also put together her first “elevator speech” and an essay reflecting on what she has learned in the “Tools for Success” workshop. Milly’s aspiration for the future is to assist others who have gone through the same or similar experience as she did, helping them to get on track through the program and pursuing their GED. “I hope my experience with having a learning disability can be an example so others can achieve their goals. I would eventually like to work in the adult literacy program at HCC to give back what I have been given through this program,” says Milly.

For more information on Harford Community College’s Adult Literacy program and “Tools for Success in Education,” call 443-412-2160 or email