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The reason I never finished high school was because I had finished the 8th grade late. I had finished the 8th grade at the age of 17, when I was supposed to almost graduate high school. So I thought to myself why go back to school if you’re not going to graduate with your class. I went to work when I had graduated from 8th grade; my first job was Taco Bell and I never decided to go back to school. For the last fifteen years I have tried to get my certificate, but it just didn’t bring in money, so I continued working. I have worked ever since then for many different companies and have had many different job experiences.
I had never known that an education was importance in life until I moved to the reservation and tried to work for the Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona. One of the qualifications was a high school diploma or GED certificate so since I didn’t have either I had gotten help through the One Stop Program. They had helped me pay for my testing and I had taken all five tests and did not pass the math portion. I was frustrated and did not continue studying to get my GED, although I only needed 20 points to receive my certificate.
It had been two years since I had last taken any tests and had gotten more frustrated because I only had a year to complete the math test, or I would have to take all five tests again. Just as I was going through all of this I had moved with my family in Oakland, California. I went to a Native American center called United Indian Nations and they were a big help. They helped me pay for my test and transportation to get to and from class. With the help of my cousin, I found a school called East Oakland Youth Development Center and I had a wonderful instructor named Ms. Anana. She helped me understand a lot. If there was something that I didn’t understand I could call Ms. Anana and she would help me over the phone.
For the two months I was there I learned more about math than ever, mainly understanding word problems. I practiced all my studies and took the test on February 24th and to my surprise, I passed. This would have never happened if it were not for you, Ms. Anana. I am so grateful for knowing you and thank you for your positive words and prayers.