Wednesday, August 18, 2021
By looking at these two bright and bubbly young women, you would never know their not-so-perfect lives. Tasha and Mallory have been in and out of jail, addicted to heavy drugs, and dropped out of school. When it felt like everyone and everything was against them, these women never gave up. Although they faced many roadblocks, they did not let that discourage them from changing their lives.
Tasha and Mallory never considered themselves to be “school” people. They felt school wasn’t for them. Mallory dropped out her sophomore year and Tasha dropped out after the eighth grade. “My parents didn’t make school a priority,” said Tasha. Now both women are in their mid-twenties with children, looking to better themselves, and support their families. Not having their high school diploma was holding them back from doing so. They realized it was time to get a high school equivalency diploma.
Both are sober and heavily motivated to change and improve their lives for the better, began taking GED or what is now known as High School Equivalency (HSE) preparation classes at the Valparaiso Adult Learning Center. This was not easy. They put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this program. They credit their success in the program to the Valparaiso Adult Learning Center staff. The center helped these women in ways typical schooling and programs could not. The teachers and advisors sit down with each student to find out what they need and how they can help. They accommodate work and home life schedules, create new class times, and provide the students with the proper skills they need to pass the High School Equivalency Test. Not to mention, the Adult Learning Center’s services are FREE. Both women have significant others and children to provide for and paying for classes was not an option.
Tasha has an outgoing and articulate personality. You can see how bright she is upon first meeting her. She is driven to turn her life around not only for herself but for her children too. She just recently passed her HSE test with a lot of hard work and the help of her adult education teachers and teacher’s assistants helping and motivating her every step of the way. She struggled with math but did not let that discourage her. The teachers found new ways to help her learn subjects that she never thought she could before. She now walks around with a sense of confidence and pride. Something that was once holding her back is now opening up more doors for her future. She has a High School Equivalency credential and will never forget the day she got the news that she passed. She is currently looking to start other programs through Ivy Tech to continue her education and career journey.
Mallory’s upbeat personality radiates when she walks into the room. Mallory is currently working towards her High School Equivalency credential. “The traditional high school path was not for me,” she admits. But since becoming sober, she now is motivated, thanks to the teachers at the CWI Adult Learning Center. She is excited at the opportunities they have for free training leading to certificates, all contributing to help her land a good-paying job and career. Mallory has children at home and has appreciated the flexible schedules, along with the additional one-on-one help she has received to attain her goal of getting her HSE. Mallory hopes to be a mentor for not only the people around her but kids and young adults who are facing the same struggles she did. “I want to remind them that they can turn their life around, just as I have,” she said. “I’m grateful to have found a place with teachers who believe in me, and continue to motivate me to move forward,” she added. Mallory is meeting many of the goals she has set for herself. For example, getting her license, buying a car, and now working towards getting her HSE. She is nowhere near done with learning. She wants to take everything in and seize every opportunity that comes her way, including the free training available through the Adult Learning Center.
Both women urge those who are thinking about getting their High School Equivalency to go for it! No matter what situation you are in, the Adult Learning Centers in Northwest Indiana can help. The classes are free, the teachers will support you and cheer you on, you will not feel out of place, and they will do their best to accommodate all learning styles and schedules. Nothing is stopping you but yourself, they both agreed. “Take the first step, it is worth it,” Tasha said.
For further information about the CWI Adult Learning Centers, visit www.cwicorp.com/adult-learning-center/ and learn more about their 20 locations across Northwest Indiana.