“By getting my GED, I could show my children that they could dream too, and that a better life was possible. ”
Teresa's primary motivation to get her GED was to make a better future for her children in the United States. She also knew that the GED would uncover additional job and educational opportunities.
Growing up in Mexico, Teresa didn't even dream of the future, as she went to work selling watermelons at just 7 years old. When she came to the United States at the age of 16, she had to get a job and support her family. Deep down, she knew that she would have better job opportunities if she had her GED.
After living and working in Florida for several years, she followed her friends’ advice and enrolled in the local school district’s ESL program. However, she often missed class to go to work. Her ESL teachers, fellow students, and volunteers saw potential in her and encouraged her to pursue her GED. With their encouragement, she enrolled in the local school district's GED program.
Her confidence was low, but she learned fast and was very motivated to earn her high school credential. Teresa got through math pretty quickly, but science and social studies required a lot of preparation. Language arts was tough, due to the language barrier with English, so Teresa had to double down on studying.
The COVID-19 pandemic threw another curveball at Teresa. Due to restrictions, in-person classes had to close while she was preparing for language arts. She had to transition to a computer-based program, which made her nervous, but she did well.
Teresa kept telling herself: "It's going to be difficult, but you can do it. You don't have to have the best score. You just have to finish." She wanted to give up several times along the way, but her teacher encouraged her studies and her husband and young children supported her all the way.
When online testing became available, Teresa tested, passed and finally earned her GED. Her teacher was so proud that she came to her house with a "Congratulations, Teresa" graduation cake for the entire family to celebrate. Next, Teresa wishes to continue her education with college courses to become a certified teacher.