December - Whitney P.

“After years of abusive relationships and doing time, I took my destiny into my own hands, starting with my GED. l want my story to inspire others to be brave and make their own future.”

Growing up, Whitney was the victim of an abusive family environment. She ran away from home at the age of 15 to get away from it all. It was difficult to move from place to place as she stayed with friends who took her in for a few months at a time. As she got older, abusive relationships seemed to follow her everywhere.  

Whitney quit high school at the age of 16 to go away with her boyfriend, even though she was a bright student enrolled in honors classes. He turned out to be emotionally and physically abusive, but she was afraid to be alone. It took time for Whitney to work up the courage to get out of the negative relationship.  

Unfortunately, an even more destructive relationship was awaiting Whitney; one that led to jail time because of her partner’s drug problems. It was in a jail cell that Whitney decided once and for all to take control of her life. She was determined to complete her education and live up to her full potential.   

Whitney decided to start by getting her GED. She took classes at an adult ed center and prepared on her own with online tools. She got into a rhythm of studying one subject at a time, then taking the GED Ready test, after which she would schedule the GED test for that subject. Getting to class regularly was hard, because she dedicated a lot of her time to helping her cousin who does not drive. After all, Whitney made it happen and achieved her GED this year.   

Three individuals, in particular, inspired Whitney along her journey with their kindness: her adult ed instructor Erin, the county sheriff and a U.S. Marshall who encouraged her to make better choices for a better life.  

Whitney is proud of what her future will bring! She is entering college in January 2021 to study criminal justice and law enforcement, along with psychology and applied science. After her Bachelor degree, Whitney plans to start her career in law enforcement, aiming to become a police detective or an FBI agent.