By Mary Crumble, GED/College Transition Student
My name is Mary and I’m 43 years old and I am a high school graduate. I was born and raised here in Washington, DC along with three other siblings. I attended DCPS [District of Columbia Public Schools] since the age of five. I didn’t graduate from high school, because I became pregnant with my oldest child. I began going to Academy of Hope in 1996, and I started with the GED program. I ended up struggling with that program so in 2008 I switched to the NEDP [National External Diploma Program]. On June 14, 2012 I graduated and received my high school diploma which I was happy about.
When I told my oldest daughter that mommy was going back to school she was happy for me, and she said, “Mommy now you enter the world with us by being a high school graduate.” I just sat back and smiled because I knew that she was proud that her mommy finally has her high school diploma. Even my mother was happy–she was in tears when I mentioned her in my speech. I graduated two weeks before my mom’s birthday and so my graduation was my birthday gift to her.
Now, my dream is to attend college and receive a degree in early childhood education. I’m making a step already to make this dream come true. I’m taking up College Prep in the spring to help me prepare for college. In 2014 I should have the funds for college or maybe a scholarship, and then hopefully I can attend UDC [University of the District of Columbia] community college. At the moment I am doing a refresher before I start my college prep classes. I enjoy studying alone and with no music and no TV –just nice and quiet. I like to study about 1 1/2 hours and then read for another hour.I have a schedule that I organized how to plan all my study time.
Now since I am a high school graduate I feel happy, joyful and praising God that I made it. Now I can fill out applications and I don’t worry about the part: “Name your high school.” I can now say I graduated in 2012. I am a graduate along with my four children. I enjoy helping my niece with her homework and she also enjoys our reading sessions. We have read over 30 books in two weeks. I remember I didn’t enjoy helping my sister with her algebra because I didn’t understand the concepts, and now I can understand algebra. I’m happy that I did make a change for myself and with the high school diploma I have so much opportunity that awaits me.