The stories below are from Adult Education students. They wanted to share with you how they felt walking into those classrooms and how it felt walking out with those new skills, GEDs, certifications, and bright futures.
When I was young, we moved from place to place, never staying anywhere for too long. I was bounced from school to school in several towns and states. Every time I walked into a new classroom, the class was above my level or below my level and I was never able to get on track or catch up. I gave up at age 13. I quit school and ended up in foster care. I got pregnant and moved back home, but life there was not easy. My mother went to jail and I had a new baby. But with all the challenges I faced, I knew that I needed to get my education to make a better life for myself and my baby.
I went back to school at 18 to get my GED, but it was not easy. I dropped out a few times and had trouble making the time for class with work and a family to take care of. But last year, everything changed. Not only did I get my GED, but I also got CNA and PCT certificates. Now I am working on becoming an RN. I was 33 years old when everything changed for me, but it’s never too late.
The worst times were feeling defeated – like everything was wrong. But my goal was to get my GED so I could become an RN, and there’s no better feeling in the world than when you get your test scores and knowing you achieved your GED. Getting your GED opens so many doors and opportunities.
As a teen I didn’t get to obtain my high school diploma because of my home life. I wanted more than anything to have a career and be successful. I had a child at a young age and made the decision that I thought would be best for the both of us – working to support myself and my child. Not having any help or free time, I didn’t think I would ever have the opportunity to get my GED. I finally told myself it was now or never and to give it a shot. And things have worked out very well for me. It took multiple attempts on one particular part of my GED. I almost felt like giving up, but I kept going. If I’m capable of doing this, so can you!
The most difficult part was failing at times, not being able to just complete it right away and having to work harder than I have in the past to accomplish my goal. When I finished my GED, I enrolled in college. My family is proud of me. And I am proud of myself too.
I started GED classes in 2012 and moved from location to location and teacher to teacher. I had to start all over each time. It was hard to stay and get through everything. The first time I took the GED test was right before they changed the test in 2014. I didn’t pass one section and I had to start all over again.
I took a whole year off from classes, but came back in 2016 and was determined to get it done. I passed the last test in 2017 and I owe it all to my teachers. They helped me and taught me the right way to do things. They never gave up on me or anyone in my class. They pushed us to do better and stay focused on our goals.
The hardest subject for me was Social Studies, but the hardest part of the whole thing was not giving up. I made the goal in 2016 to finish in one year and I did. When I finished, I cried. I found out I was going to have a baby just before I walked across the stage at graduation. Now I am focusing on being the best mother to my son that I can.
About 2 years ago I decided to change jobs. I had been teaching at a daycare but wanted to go into the school system. Half way through the process of trying to get into the school system, I found out that I had to be certified. Which meant I did not qualify, because I only had a Bachelor’s degree that was not in education. I had to pass the GACE Program admission test so that I could continue my education. This test consisted of reading, writing and math. All things I thought I did well. However, I took the test and failed.
Through all of my schooling, I always had a negative outlook on math. This made the test very difficult for me. I would let my anxiety and negative thoughts build up in my mind, leaving me little time to focus on the test. After attending the Adult Ed classes and working with my teacher, I was confident enough to try the test again. I failed for the second time, this discouraged me a little and I began to slack off. My family, friends and my teacher would not let me fail. They continued to push and motivate me to try again.
In February 2020, I took the test again. This time walking in knowing I had done all I could. I was confident that I knew the material and I was going to pass. I let go of all my fear as I sat down. I told myself “I got this” and I did…I PASSED!!
I don’t know where I would be today without my family, friends the Adult Ed program and my teacher. Thank you for believing in me, pushing me and not giving up on me. I am one step closer to becoming a teacher. I have enrolled to get my master’s in education.
The most difficult part of the class was taking the first step and enrolling in the class. My goal was to retake the math section of the GACE Program Admission Test and pass. I accomplished this goal by going to class twice a week, printing extra work for myself, making flash cards and doing online assignments. Also being consistent in my study schedule. Since finishing my adult education classes, I have been studying for GACE Elementary Test and I have enrolled in a Master’s Program.
I purchased a graduation card for myself two weeks prior to taking my test online. The card said “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” I pray that I can do that because being in school at my age is hard. But for me, I’ve never been so excited about learning. It takes wanting it and the willingness to go through and complete the challenge. You have to really want it and I do. I hated Math when I first started school. (I did not understand it) Now that I have a better understanding, I feel a lot better about doing it. It’s still challenging but I feel more confident that I can do it.
When I came to my first class, the teacher taught math that day. I continued to study for math with my teacher and it all began to make sense for the first time. My teacher did not continue with a problem until everyone understood the problem and how to solve it. That was what I needed; someone to take the time for me to understand what was being taught and believe that I could do it.
It is possible to attain what you want and dream, just stay the course.
I am looking forward to the next step of my education.