By Davita M. Carter, GED Student
My name is Davita M. Carter. I am a student at the Atlanta Technical College Adult Education Program. I am a mother of four adult children, a grandmother of nine, and a virtuous wife. My children’s names are Chelsea, Benita, Benjamin, and Shantae. My four adult children have been blessed with nine beautiful grandchildren.
I dropped out of Overbrook High School in West Philadelphia at the age of 17 after having my first child. I moved out of my mother’s house when Chelsea was three weeks old and started living with my children’s father. My mother was not the kind of mother that would babysit, while I went to school. Furthermore, I had to work to support my child. I was very determined to make it on my own without the help of my parents. My mother did not want me to move out, but I was stubborn and strong willed.
My children’s father and I were in a relationship for eight years. Our relationship was good for the first two years, but the last six years were rocky, and he had become mentally, emotionally, and physically abusive to me. When I finally regained my self-esteem and self-respect, I put him out of my home and got a protection and restraining order against him.
I became disabled in 2001, while working at a Mental Retardation and Mental Illness facility. The job required a lot of lifting and transferring non-ambulatory patients. This is when I decided to make education a priority. I was told about the Adult Education Class held at Atlanta Technical College, so I could earn my GED. My classes began January 9th, 2013. I have a great support group that includes my husband, family and friends who help me stay motivated with my studies. My instructor, Ms. Jones gives us homework and at school we work on a website called Khan Academy which helps me improve my math skills.
When I started school in January, I knew that I would have some challenges. I was diagnosed with a herniated slipped disc between L4-L-5, Degenerative Lumbar Disease and Peripheral Neuropathy in my left foot and left leg. I live with chronic pain every day. I see a pain management specialist to help me tolerate and live with the pain. Two years ago, I had to use a power chair.
Although I have these disabilities, I am not going to let them stop me from achieving my goals. I will obtain my GED in June 2013 and start college courses in the fall to get an Associate’s Degree in Health Information Technology. I have researched the field of Health Information Technology, Medical Insurance Coding and Billing and Medical Transcription, and those fields are always in demand. In addition, the salaries are quite substantial. I can work from home in this field, saving money on transportation, food, and clothing, as opposed to working in a hospital or doctor’s office.
I am truly thankful to all my instructors at Atlanta Technical College Adult Education. They made it possible for me to study at home while I was in bed sick, so I didn’t have idle time on my hands. I am going back to school to make a better life for me and my husband and to make my family proud of me. I love being in school and seeing the look on my grandchildren’s faces, when they see me studying and doing my homework every night. Being back in school has been very rewarding in all these various ways. Finally, being on the Atlanta Technical College campus has been a huge motivation for me. I am thankful to God for this second chance at improving my life. I am also thankful for the support of my family, friends, and teachers.