October - Patricia Z.

“I love learning but bullying at school forced me to leave high school. Later, I found my career passion: real estate. Getting my GED was the final step in getting my license. ”

Patricia always loved learning and was an excellent student, but she was bullied so much in school that by high school she simply could not continue anymore.  

She became depressed and struggled with low self-esteem for years. Eventually, Patricia was able to work with a therapist to bring her motivation back. By 18, she was considering going back to school, but at 19 she became a young mom. As a single mom, she had to dedicate her time to supporting her son.  

10 years later, Patricia was ready to make a big career move. Finding a well-paying job was a challenge because she didn’t have her high school credential. Upon encouragement from friends to work in sales, she decided to become a real estate agent. In that role, she could combine sales with her passion for helping people; buying a home is a big deal and she knew it would be fulfilling to be part of that process. One of the requirements for a real estate license was a high school credential. Patricia knew that getting her GED would open the door to her dream job. 

As a single mom working a full time job and taking 120 hours of real estate courses, Patricia didn’t have much time left to study for four GED test subjects. She made it happen by adding GED prep to different parts of her day: listening to courses while getting ready in the morning, watching videos during her break and doing practice questions before going to bed. 

Patricia had strong reading and writing skills growing up, so she started by taking the RLA subject since that came most naturally to her. Then came Social Studies and Science. Within a few months, she had passed three of the four subjects. Math was the toughest subject for her and she was very nervous about it. In addition to feeling anxious about Math, a sea of emotions started to resurface as she got closer to completing her GED, such as memories of being bullied in school.  

Patricia was determined to get her GED; she knew that persevering through the challenges would lead to long-term rewards. Friends and family leaned in to help out. She had also taken a life coach course and found that she could apply those techniques to her own situation. One very useful approach was “chunking”: anything can be accomplished  if the task is broken down into small chunks. Patricia also reminded herself that no one was born an expert; we all started as babies with a blank canvas and then gathered knowledge along the way. 

Shortly thereafter, Patricia passed Math and was officially done with the GED test. She earned her high school credential! Then, she passed her real estate exam right away. Proving these accomplishments to herself has helped Patricia realize that there are many possibilities ahead. Patricia is proud and excited to have her GED, her real estate license, and a brighter future for herself and her son.