Confidence + GED® = College!
During my 8th grade year at a local parochial school, my parents were on the verge of a divorce and the school gave me a scholarship to complete the year. That summer my parents divorced and my Mom lost her job. I was accepted to a parochial high school with a partial scholarship but they would not let me start until the second semester.
Mom and I were homeless that summer, we slept in our car in the Kmart parking lot. Sometimes we could find change but often we did not have food. Mom found a job, we moved into an apartment and I started high school in January with a partial scholarship. I did fine academically but that was not enough to get the scholarship renewed for the next year. My mother lost her job again.
Now it is clear that I should have gone to public school when I could not go back to parochial school, but we were scared and confused, my mother was also depressed. The high school I had attended would not release my transcript because we owed them money, so transferring to a public school would not be easy, I just did not know what to do.
My mother found another job, we lived in apartments but often without any electricity. Eventually I was 18 and so scared. I only had one semester of high school credits, and no transcript. All my friends were graduating and preparing for college, which is what I wanted to do. I started checking on getting a GED but I was concerned about the stigma associated with a GED. I began to realize that a lot of people go to college after obtaining a GED. I found out about the YWCA GED Preparation Services in the phone book. I had never been to a YWCA program but I had a good feeling about the organization.
I had no idea how nice the YWCA staff could be. They became my support system. They said things like “this is a good thing, you should be proud of yourself” and I actually started to believe in myself. I did really well on the GED practice test at the YWCA. One of the teachers reviewed my scores with me and told me I was ready to take the GED test. Wow! The test takes an entire day. It took a month to get the scores but with my new found confidence, I took the ACT, the SAT and applied to colleges while I waited for the GED test results.
In the space of a few weeks, I found out that I passed the GED AND was admitted to Mary Baldwin College in Virginia. Mary Baldwin offered me a large scholarship, but it was not enough. I looked everywhere for scholarships, including the Kaws Indian Tribe. My great grandfather was a chief of the Kaws in Oklahoma. I will be at Mary Baldwin in the fall.
Thanks to the YWCA for helping me find confidence. There is no stopping me now!